Amal Clooney Aiding Ex-ISIS Captive, With George's Blessing

Human rights lawyer is helping Nadia Murad seek justice for the Yazidi people
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 19, 2016 11:12 AM CDT
Amal Clooney and George Clooney pose for photographers at the 69th international film festival in Cannes, southern France, on May 12, 2016.   (AP Photo/Joel Ryan)

(Newser) – Nadia Murad, a 23-year-old Yazidi woman who survived captivity as an ISIS sex slave, was named a UN goodwill ambassador Friday—the first time a human trafficking survivor was named as such, Time reports. Murad has another distinction: a high-profile human rights lawyer helping her cause of bringing ISIS criminals to justice. That attorney is Amal Clooney, wife of George Clooney, and she tells People the couple conferred before she decided to take on the case. "This is something I discussed with my husband," she says, adding that George was also "moved" when he spoke to Murad and that they know the risks. But, Clooney adds, "I don't think anyone can feel that they're being courageous compared to what Nadia is doing. I met her and I just thought, I can't walk away from this."

Clooney gave a heartfelt speech at the UN Friday, relaying the story of how Murad was one of 6,700 Yazidis captured by ISIS in 2014. Her mom and six brothers were executed, and Murad was pushed into a revolving door of ISIS "owners" who abused and raped her, once until she was unconscious. She escaped after "three hellish months," per NBC News, though she still gets threats from ISIS, and she's now working with Clooney to bring her attackers to justice for crimes against humanity—a daunting task, as Iraq isn't part of the International Criminal Court. "I am ashamed, as a supporter of the UN, that states are failing to prevent or even punish genocide, because they find that their own interests get in the way," Clooney told the UN. (Barbara Walters has picked Clooney as her "most fascinating person.")

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