Amal Clooney to represent Armenia in Euro court: Report
US actor George Clooney and British lawyer Amal Alamuddin (L).Amal Ramzi Clooney, a prominent British-Lebanese lawyer, will be one of the attorneys representing Armenia next month at the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) in a key case regarding the deaths of Ottoman Armenians a hundred years ago, according to an Armenian news website.
“... Mrs. Clooney will be a great asset to Armenia’s legal team in Strasbourg, in the appeal of Perinçek vs. Switzerland before the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights on Jan.28,” the Armenian Weekly reported Dec. 22.
A national court verdict in Switzerland had resulted with the case being brought to the ECHR.
Turkey’s Workers’ Party (İP) Chairman Doğu Perinçek was found guilty by a Swiss court on March 9, 2007, after his participation in a number of conferences in Switzerland in 2005, during which he publicly denied that the Ottoman Empire had perpetrated the crime of genocide against the Armenian people.
Armenians say up to 1.5 million of their forebears were killed in 1915 and 1916 by the forces of the Ottoman Empire, constituting “the first genocide of the 20th century.” Turkey disputes the figure, arguing that some 500,000 died and denies this was genocide, ascribing the toll to fighting and starvation during World War I.
Perinçek had complained to the ECHR that Swiss courts had breached his freedom of expression. The ECHR ruled Dec. 17, 2013, that Perinçek’s statements in Switzerland fall within the limits of freedom of expression.
The ECHR ruling stated that “the free exercise of the right to openly discuss questions of a sensitive and controversial nature is one of the fundamental aspects of freedom of expression and distinguishes a tolerant and pluralistic democratic society from a totalitarian or dictatorial regime.”
Switzerland objected to the judgment and brought it to the ECHR’s Grand Chamber for the final verdict. The Grand Chamber approved the inclusion of Armenia as a third party litigant in the case in September.
Since its July 20 application to be included in the case, Armenia had been represented by Prosecutor General Gevorg Kostanyan. So far, Clooney, who hit international headlines by marrying American actor George Clooney this year, has neither confirmed or denied the report claiming that she will represent Armenia in the key case, in which a number of Armenian associations based in Europe are also being represented as third parties.