Amal Clooney begins landmark Armenian genocide case

By Mariam Digges

Amal Alamuddin Clooney (R), arrives with her colleague Geoffrey Robertson to attend a hearing at the European court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, January 28, 2015. REUTERS/Vincent Kessler
Amal Alamuddin Clooney (R), arrives with her colleague Geoffrey Robertson to attend a hearing at the European court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, January 28, 2015. REUTERS/Vincent Kessler
Fresh off the Golden Globes red carpet, Amal Clooney begins a new landmark trial into the Armenian genocide.

She’s leaving her red carpet duties for the moment and starting her next big human rights trial – her latest mission: representing Armenia’s interests before the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) today.

Clooney’s case is arguing on an appeal in front of the ECHR, which ruled in favour of Dogu Perincek in December 2013.

Perincek’s argument was that his right to free speech was violated when Swiss courts convicted him of denying the genocide in 2005.

Switzerland is now appealing the verdict, which could have ramifications for other European nations like France.

According to historians, up to 1.5 million Armenians were killed by Ottoman Turks during the time of World War I, an event widely viewed by genocide scholars as the first genocide of the 20th century.

But Turkey has always maintained that the deaths don’t constitute genocide, claiming the toll was exaggerated and those killed were simply victims of civil war.

Bruno Waterfield of London’s Telegraph asked Mrs Clooney where her dress was from, only to have her name the London tailor that makes her robes, Ede and Ravenscroft.

“I’m wearing Ede & Ravenscroft,” she laughs, pointing to her robes incredulously.

The landmark trial will be Clooney’s first big case of 2015 after representing Greece last year in attempts to have the Elgin Marbles returned from the British Museum.

The human rights lawyer also recently represented one of three Al Jazeera journalists imprisoned in Egypt recently.

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