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George Clooney Denies Plans to Seek Arrest of Russian Journalists

George Clooney. Evan Agostini / AP / TASS

American actor George Clooney denied on Monday that the human rights organization he co-founded with his wife intends to seek the arrest of Russian journalists who support Moscow's war against Ukraine.

The legal director at the Clooney Foundation for Justice’s Docket initiative, Anya Neistat, had previously said the organization was seeking the arrest and extradition of “the most obvious Russian propagandists” in Europe to face charges of “war propaganda.”

Those remarks, made to the Russian-language service of the U.S.-funded Voice of America news network last week, sparked outrage among Russian officials like former president Dmitry Medvedev, who threatened that “our professional journalists will find [Clooney] first.” 

On Monday, the Hollywood actor issued a statement through his organization saying that “someone in our foundation misspoke.” 

“We at the Clooney Foundation would never go after journalists, even if we disagree with them. In fact we have a long track record of protecting journalists,” Clooney said.

Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova had claimed that the Clooney family was “making money from Russophobia that’s well-paid in the West.” 

Meanwhile, Vasily Piskarev, who heads the lower-house State Duma’s commission on “foreign interference,” said he would seek to recognize the Clooney Foundation as an “undesirable organization” in Russia.

The Clooney Foundation for Justice’s Docket Initiative works on triggering “prosecutions against those who commit mass atrocities and represents survivors in court,” according to the organization’s website.

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