“Some of the language used about journalists by authoritarian leaders is inspired by the language that came from the US president,” she told the Guardian.
Trump brands any criticism of his policies or actions ‘fake news’, and has described journalists as “dishonest, terrible people” and the media as an “enemy of the people”. To tackle media suppression, Clooney has proposed sanctions against individuals, including ministers, abusing human rights, such as the right to free expression.
“If world leaders are becoming more united and more innovative in finding ways to silence the press, shouldn’t we as defenders of the press do the same,” Clooney said, describing the issue as “the silence of democracies”.
Clooney acknowledged that it is “a pretty bleak landscape” when it comes to human rights violations, but “this is certainly not the time to give up the fight”.
“Autocrats hold dear control of the media,” Clooney said. “All I can do as a human rights lawyer is keep trying to move an issue further up the to-do list and keep pushing so where a country is wavering they are more likely to do something than not. But yes, it is a pretty bleak landscape when it comes to accountability for human rights abuses.”