Amal Clooney meets with David Cameron to urge release of Maldives president Mohamed Nasheed

Human rights lawyer and wife of film star George Clooney met David Cameron after watching him take on MPs at Prime Minister's Questions

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The Independent Online

Amal Clooney held talks with David Cameron today as part of her campaign to free the imprisoned president of the Maldives.

The human rights lawyer and wife of film-star George Clooney met Mr Cameron after watching him take on interim Labour leader Harriet Harman and other MPs at Prime Minister's Questions.

She sat in the peers' viewing gallery above the Commons chamber alongside Conservative MP Fiona Bruce, who has lobbied for Mohamed Nasheed's release for months, and the former president's wife, Laila Ali.

Mr Nasheed, who became the first democratically-elected president of the Maldives in 2008, was overthrown in 2012 in a coup d'etat after being accused of 'kidnapping' the chief Judge of the Criminal Court, Abdulla Mohamed. He was arrested in February and sentenced within weeks.

Human rights groups have described his detention as politically motivated by the Maldives government, which has been heavily criticised over its record on human rights.

Ms Clooney is part of Mr Nasheed's high-profile legal team, which he assembled after being sentenced to 13 years in jail for terrorism offences earlier this year.

She also met with Foreign Office minister Hugo Swire, who tweeted after the meeting that he "shared Laila Ali's concerns about the shrinkage of democratic space in the Maldives and the need for judicial reform".

Downing Street said the Prime Minister's meeting with Ms Clooney was arranged at the last minute and said Mr Cameron had already written to the Maldives government regarding the detention of political prisoners in the country.