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UK: Amal Clooney, Canadian FM argue for tougher sanctions on Russia, Saudi Arabia and others03:24

UK: Amal Clooney, Canadian FM argue for tougher sanctions on Russia, Saudi Arabia and others

United Kingdom, London
July 10, 2019 at 21:08 GMT +00:00 · Published

Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland and Amal Clooney argued for tougher sanctions against countries deemed to violate human rights or media freedom, with Freeland repeatedly singling out Russia as a violator of the "rules-based international order" during a media freedom conference in London on Wednesday.

"Whether it's Turkey or Saudi Arabia or any other state, we should be looking towards having a much more robust set of sanctions that are available to be imposed and then that are actually imposed in a more consistent manner," Clooney said in response to the killing of Jamal Khashoggi by, allegedly carried out by Saudi officials in Istanbul, and the imprisonment of hundreds of journalists in Turkey.

The Canadian foreign minister, a former journalist herself, argued that countries should be prepared to damaged their ties with human rights violators even if it has economic costs.

"Canada has been prepared to speak up against abuses of human rights and for human rights defenders around the world, and as the Canadian journalists here know, we've paid a price in some of those instances," Freeland said.

"We speak out strongly against the annexation and occupation of the Crimea, Russia's continued aggression in the Donbass, use of banned chemical agents in the United Kingdom," she continued.

During the same Q&A session, UK Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt defended his country's Ambassador to the US Kim Darroch who resigned over comments he made about the Trump family which were leaked to the Mail on Sunday.

"We had a fine diplomat who was just doing what he should have been doing, giving a frank assessment, a personal assessment of the political situation in the country that he was posted [in] and that's why I defended him and I think we all should," he said. "I deplore those leaks because as foreign secretary I need to get confidential correspondence from my ambassadors all around the world, but I defend to the hilt the right of the press to publish them if they receive them, because that is what you have to do to do your job."

The Global Conference for Media Freedom, the first of its kind, is co-hosted by the United Kingdom and Canada, with delegations "from over 100 countries including 60 ministers and more than 1,500 journalists, academics and campaigners" according to Hunt who is hoping the event becomes a yearly event taking place all over the world.

Russia's RT and Sputnik news agencies were not allowed to attend the conference "because of their active role in spreading disinformation," according to a UK Foreign Office statement.

UK: Amal Clooney, Canadian FM argue for tougher sanctions on Russia, Saudi Arabia and others03:24
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Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland and Amal Clooney argued for tougher sanctions against countries deemed to violate human rights or media freedom, with Freeland repeatedly singling out Russia as a violator of the "rules-based international order" during a media freedom conference in London on Wednesday.

"Whether it's Turkey or Saudi Arabia or any other state, we should be looking towards having a much more robust set of sanctions that are available to be imposed and then that are actually imposed in a more consistent manner," Clooney said in response to the killing of Jamal Khashoggi by, allegedly carried out by Saudi officials in Istanbul, and the imprisonment of hundreds of journalists in Turkey.

The Canadian foreign minister, a former journalist herself, argued that countries should be prepared to damaged their ties with human rights violators even if it has economic costs.

"Canada has been prepared to speak up against abuses of human rights and for human rights defenders around the world, and as the Canadian journalists here know, we've paid a price in some of those instances," Freeland said.

"We speak out strongly against the annexation and occupation of the Crimea, Russia's continued aggression in the Donbass, use of banned chemical agents in the United Kingdom," she continued.

During the same Q&A session, UK Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt defended his country's Ambassador to the US Kim Darroch who resigned over comments he made about the Trump family which were leaked to the Mail on Sunday.

"We had a fine diplomat who was just doing what he should have been doing, giving a frank assessment, a personal assessment of the political situation in the country that he was posted [in] and that's why I defended him and I think we all should," he said. "I deplore those leaks because as foreign secretary I need to get confidential correspondence from my ambassadors all around the world, but I defend to the hilt the right of the press to publish them if they receive them, because that is what you have to do to do your job."

The Global Conference for Media Freedom, the first of its kind, is co-hosted by the United Kingdom and Canada, with delegations "from over 100 countries including 60 ministers and more than 1,500 journalists, academics and campaigners" according to Hunt who is hoping the event becomes a yearly event taking place all over the world.

Russia's RT and Sputnik news agencies were not allowed to attend the conference "because of their active role in spreading disinformation," according to a UK Foreign Office statement.

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