Amal Clooney will work with the foreign secretary Jeremy Hunt as his special envoy on media freedom, it was confirmed today.
Clooney, an international human rights lawyer, will work pro bono as co-chair of the high level panel of legal experts to strengthen legal protections for journalists and challenge laws that restrict journalists around the world.
She will also chair a panel of legal experts that will advocate on behalf of journalists.
The appointment comes at a time when “violence against journalists has reached alarming levels globally”, Hunt said in a statement.
Clooney's appointment is a part of the UK's campaign to defend free media globally, and Hunt said that she is “ideally placed to ensure this campaign has real impact for journalists and the free societies who depend on their work”.
Clooney, who was named the 2018 UN Global Citizen of the Year, said: “Through my legal work defending journalists I have seen first-hand the ways in which reporters are being targeted and imprisoned in an effort to silence them and prevent a free media.”
“I welcome the UK government's focus on this issue at a time when journalists are being killed and imprisoned at a record levels all over the world and I look forward to working on new legal initiatives that can help to ensure a more effective international response,” Clooney added.
The news comes on the six month anniversary of Jamal Khashoggi's death, a journalist and vocal critic of the Saudi government who was murdered in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.