Ressa's cyber libel conviction a 'devastating blow' to PH freedom of the Press - HRW

Ressa's cyber libel conviction a 'devastating blow' to PH freedom of the Press - HRW




A New York, United States of America (USA) based human rights group is of the conclusion that freedom of the press in the Philippines just suffered a "devastating blow" with the conviction of Rappler CEO and founder Maria Ressa and including Rey Santos’ for cyber libel over a published article eight years ago.
The court sentenced Maria Ressa and former Rappler researche Reynaldo Santos Jr. at least 6 months up to 6 years in prison over the 2012 story that linked a businessman Wilfredo Keng to alleged illegal activities. 

International watchdog Human Rights Watch (HRW) through its deputy Asia director Phil Robertson said, "The verdict against Maria Ressa highlights the ability of the Philippines’ abusive leader to manipulate the laws to go after critical, well-respected media voices whatever the ultimate cost to the country." 
Rappler CEO and founder Maria Ressa
(photo credit to owner)

"The Rappler case will reverberate not just in the Philippines, but in many countries that long considered the country a robust environment for media freedom."
According to HRW, journalist/media group have suffered intimidation and attacks online and offline.
“The government should reverse this alarming affront to justice and quash the convictions of Rappler’s Ressa and Santos,” Robertson said. “The prosecution was not just an attack on these individual journalists but also a frontal assault on freedom of the press that is critical to protect and preserve Philippines democracy.” international watchdog Human Rights Watch said. 




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Report from ABS-CBN News


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