George Clooney’s foundation ‘hounding’ Russian journalists – Moscow

Russia has slammed the push to secure arrest warrants for its media figures

The organization co-founded by Hollywood A-lister George Clooney has declared open season for prosecuting Russian journalists, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said. Her statement came after it was revealed that the Clooney Foundation for Justice (CFJ) has been pushing for secret arrest warrants for Russian media figures. 

Actor and filmmaker George Clooney and his wife, human rights lawyer Amal Clooney, founded the CFJ in 2016 with the aim to “fight systemic injustice against vulnerable communities” around the world, according to its mission statement.

Since 2022, the foundation’s The Docket project has been leading the efforts to help prosecute “Russian propagandists,” alleging that Moscow’s media is complicit in “incitement to genocide” in Ukraine. The Docket legal director Anna Neistat said that her team is “documenting Russian crimes” and submitting cases to prosecutors in various countries.

Neistat told the Voice of America on Thursday that she does not want to identify “propagandists” by name because her team wants prosecutors to issue sealed arrest warrants. “We don’t want these people to know about the warrants. On the contrary, we want them to travel to other countries and be arrested there,” she said. 

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In a Telegram post on Friday, Zakharova pointed out that one of the Clooney foundation’s stated goals is protection of journalists. “As it turns out, the protection of journalists – the way the Clooneys understand it – is hounding them by the means of politically and ethnically motivated criminal prosecution,” she wrote.

“It is no secret that Russophobia pays well in the West. Apparently, these two PR specialists are ready to do anything for money. That is why they have decided to embark on a judicial safari targeting Russian journalists,” Zakharova said.

Moscow has repeatedly accused Ukrainian troops of deliberately targeting Russian journalists covering the ongoing conflict between the two countries. In April, Semyon Yeryomin, who worked for the Izvestia newspaper, was killed by a Ukrainian kamikaze drone. Other fatalities include war correspondents Rostislav Zhuravlyov and Boris Maksudov, both of whom were killed in 2023.

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