Amal Clooney to attend two-day media freedom conference in London hosted by UK and Canada - Press Gazette

Amal Clooney to attend two-day media freedom conference in London hosted by UK and Canada

Amal Clooney is set to attend a two-day conference on media freedom jointly hosted by the UK and Canadian governments, which begins in London today.

Human rights lawyer Clooney will appear alongside Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt (both pictured) in her new role as special envoy on media freedom, which she took up in April.

The wife of Hollywood star George is also co-chairman of a panel of legal experts which has been established to repeal “draconian” anti-press laws abroad.

She represented jailed Reuters pair Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo who were released in May by presidential pardon after 500 days behind bars in Myanmar where they were found guilty of breaching the Official Secrets Act.

Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt will also speak at the event, which is set to welcome some 60 ministers and 1,000 reporters.

It comes as attacks on the press have become more widespread around the world. One press freedom group put last year’s death toll for journalists killed as a result of their work at 80, and another at 94.

Russian news outlets RT (formerly Russia Today) and Sputnik have been denied press accreditation to attend the conference because of “their active role in spreading disinformation”, a Foreign Office spokesperson said.

They added: “While it’s not possible to accommodate all requests for accreditation, journalists from across the world’s media are attending the conference, including from Russia.”

RT said: “It takes a particular brand of hypocrisy to advocate for freedom of press while banning inconvenient voices and slandering alternative media.”

Sputnik added: “Our goals are clearly indicated in our charter and spreading disinformation is not one of them.”

UK broadcast regulator Ofcom found RT had “failed to preserve due impartiality” in its coverage of the Salisbury Novichok poisonings last year.



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