Amal Clooney Responds to Baku’s Claim That She is Armenian

Amal Clooney (Photo: Getty Images)
Amal Clooney

Amal Clooney

“As it happens my heritage is not Armenian, but I do not see why this should matter,” says Clooney.

Well-known human rights activist and attorney Amal Clooney on Wednesday told RFE/RL that she is not Armenian, as has been claimed by Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev’s associates after she announced that she would defend the jailed Azeri human rights activist Khadija Ismayilova.

Aliyev and his circle of supporters have been attacking Clooney, by saying she is Armenian, in order to discredit her in the eyes of the Azerbaijani public.

“I don’t see how belonging to any nation, whatever it is, would discredit me in any way,” she stated. “As it happens my heritage is not Armenian, but I do not see why this should matter,” Clooney to RFE/RL.

“But obviously the fact I represented Armenia does not make me Armenian, any more than my representation of Cambodia before the International Court of Justice made me Cambodian, or my advice to the Greek government made me Greek,” she added.

Clooney was representing Armenia in a high-profile European Court of Human Rights case in connection with the Armenian Genocide.

The Azerbaijani side has made such assumptions on Clooney’s ethnicity also because her husband, renowned actor and humanitarian George Clooney supports the 100 LIVES initiative created by Armenian businessmen, and that Clooney likewise confirmed her involvement in this program.

Meanwhile, in a handwritten letter to RFE/RL, imprisoned Azerbaijani reporter Khadija Ismayilova, who is serving her time in a Baku prison, condemned the attacks on Clooney, who is helping represent her before ECtHR.

“I chose Clooney because she defended [journalists,] and I was happy with the quality of her defense,” Ismayilova said in the letter. “I didn’t ask about her heritage, as people from civilized countries don’t ask such questions.”

Clooney on Monday submitted a lengthy filing to the ECHR on behalf of Ismayilova.

George and Amal Clooney will travel to Armenia on April 22, on a three-day visit.

During the trip they will attend the 100 LIVES’ Aurora Prize award ceremony, where this prize is awarded to people who have risked their lives to help others, including for helping Armenians after the Genocide.


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  1. Norin said:

    Whether she is Armenian or not certainly does not matter but we will gladly accept her and Mr. Clooney as one of us any day and Armenians everywhere would be proud to call them “Hye”, she performed superbly as an attorney.

  2. Samuel Darbinian said:

    It appears Mis Amal Cloony has been confused if azari backward psychopath president attributing to Armenians, not necessarily means you are Armenian, but expressing his deep animosity & hate against targeted person, deserve to be obliterated, if you are talking about justice & human dignity, that is what Alieve wants Mis Amal Cloony understand for him Khadija Ismylova is another Armenia
    In Turkish barbarian gang leaderships such as Alieve & Erdogans imagination the words & meanings already altered & distorted you need
    to decode them.
    Alieve & Erdogan always admire & reward those who bend over kiss & lick there bottomes. otherewise if you talk about justice . you are
    enemy of Turkish glory.

  3. zarkim said:

    Ilham Aliyev is afraid of Amal not because she is Armenian, but because she is a very powerful female personality.
    Amal is a much more educated person than Aliyev and maybe this why Ilham is afraid of her.
    As a Muslim, Aliyev cannot handle this female and he is trying to TAG HER.
    Recently, Baku government jailed a well-known investigative reporter, Khadija Ismayilova, who had worked for the broadcaster and had reported on the lucrative business dealings of Mr. Aliyev’s family.
    Aliyev only hugs men.

  4. CedarOfTheShouf said:

    Mrs. Clooney is not only Lebanese, Arab and Baaklinite, she is also a humanitarian, seeker of justice for the subdued, hope for the oppressed and voice of the persecuted. It would be too selfish to claim her as an Armenian only, she belongs to the world.

  5. Robert Karl said:

    It wouldn’t be her Armenian ancestry, were that factual, that bothers dictators like Erdogan and Aliev; but rather, the fact that she is not, and in fact stems from their former empire.