Amal Clooney hits out at Trump in speech at the UN

International human rights lawyer Amal Clooney has criticised US President Donald Trump for giving autocratic regimes "a green light" to constrain journalists and the free press.

"The US President has given such regimes a green light and labelled the press in this country 'the enemy of the people'", Clooney said during a speech at the United Nations Correspondents Association Awards in New York yesterday.

Amal Clooney. Source: Associated Press

She was referring to widespread claims that the White House has turned a blind eye to the murder of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul in October.

Trump recently declared he would not punish Saudi Arabia's crown prince for alleged involvement in the murder of Khashoggi - announcing in an exclamation-filled statement that the benefits of good relations with the kingdom outweigh the possibility Mohammed bin Salman ordered the killing.

Clooney, who was named the United Nation's global citizen of the year, used her speech to talk about the difficult challenges journalists face in autocratic regimes, using Myanmar, the US and North Korea as examples.

The international human rights lawyer was named the United Nation's global citizen of the year. Source: Associated Press