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Meryl Streep to present Amal Clooney with an award for her human rights work

By Zach Harper

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Amal Clooney will receive the Gwen Ifill Press Freedom Award for her legal work defending journalists when she's honoured at the CPJ International Press Freedom Awards on Nov. 19. She'll be presented the honour by none other than Meryl Streep.

The 42-year-old lawyer, who is also married to George Clooney, will be interviewed by journalist Maria Ressa during the event. Maria won the award in 2018 for her work reporting on government corruption in the Philippines.

"In times of unprecedented uncertainty, it's journalists who are out there, gathering the facts and trying to help us make sense of it all," Meryl said in a statement. "By asking tough questions, and pursuing the truth at any cost, they're essential workers – serving the public and protecting democracy.

"That's why I'm proud to take part in this year's International Press Freedom Awards and to continue supporting the vital work of the Committee to Protect Journalists."

Amal has a long history of human rights work to protect journalists. In 2014, she represented Canadian-Egyptian journalist Mohamed Fahmy, who worked for Al Jazeera English at the time. Mohamed was imprisoned with several other journalists in Egypt. Amal represented Mohamed, who was eventually pardoned by Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi in 2015.

The next year, Amal represented Azerbaijani journalist Khadija Ismayilova, who had been imprisoned because of her investigative reporting. Khadija's sentence was reduced to three-and-a-half years and she was eventually released from prison.

In 2019, Amal also helped secure the release of Wa Lone and Kyaw She Oo, two journalists who were working in Myanmar. They were arrested in 2017 while investigating a massacre in a Rohingya village in the country's Rakhine state and charged with possessing classified documents and had been sentenced to seven years in prison.

Above: Khadija in 2016 and Wa Lone and Kyaw She Oo after their release in 2019. Photos: © Aziz Karimov/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images ANN WANG/AFP via Getty Images

Lester Holt will host this year's awards ceremony, which will also feature appearances from Rosamund Pike, Samantha Bee and Ronan Farrow.

Fans can watch it online through the International Press Freedom Awards website beginning 8 p.m. EST on Nov. 19. It will also be broadcast on NBC News, CBS News and ABC News.

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