Posts Tagged ‘Reynaldo Santos Jr’

#HoldTheLine Coalition comes out for Maria Ressa

July 11, 2020

On behalf of the #HoldTheLine Coalition, Reporters Without Borders (RSF), the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), and the International Center for Journalists (ICFJ) are calling for public support for Maria Ressa and independent media in the Philippines.

On 15 June 2020, Ressa was convicted of “cyber-libel,” alongside former Rappler colleague Reynaldo Santos Jr — a criminal charge for which they face up to six years in prison. [see: https://humanrightsdefenders.blog/2020/06/15/ressas-cyber-libel-conviction-in-the-philippines-shocks/

Ressa and Santos could be imprisoned if the cyber-libel case is not overturned on appeal.  Ressa is facing at least six other cases and charges. Guilty verdicts in all of these cases could result in her spending nearly a century in jail.  

Rappler is also implicated in most of these cases, with several involving criminal charges related to libel, foreign ownership, and taxes.  For independent media in the Philippines, these targeted attacks and legal threats pose a clear and present danger to press freedom.

As a matter of urgency, please sign this petition calling on the Philippine government to drop all cases against Ressa, Santos, and Rappler and cease attacks on independent media in the country. Share this appeal using the #HoldTheLine hashtag!

Credit image : Maria TAN / AFP

I sign the petition

https://rsf.org/en/free-mariaressa

Ressa’s ‘cyber libel’ conviction in the Philippines shocks

June 15, 2020

Several international and national outlets (here Christia Marie Ramos in INQUIRER.net of 15 June 2020) have reported with dismay on the conviction of Rappler CEO Maria Ressa and former research-writer Reynaldo Santos Jr. in a cyber libel case in the Philippines. [see also: https://humanrightsdefenders.blog/2019/04/16/pulitzer-prizes-for-courageous-journalists-in-myanmar-and-philippines/

In a statement, Senator Francis Pangilinan said “The silencing of critics and the attacks on the media has been going on for three years now,” he said. “And unless we stand up, speak out, and vigorously oppose the tyranny in our midst, their conviction will not be the last” he added… Ressa and Santos are the first journalists to be found guilty of cyber libel.

In this context ABS-CBN was forced off the air after its television and radio broadcast operations nationwide were ordered shut a day after its 25-year-franchise expired.

Detained Senator Leila de Lima joined her colleagues in condemning Ressa and Santos’ conviction, saying it was “another demonstration” of the Duterte administration’s “weaponization of law against those who dare speak truth to power.” “Jailing me for over three years now is only one of the thousand sinister ways they are causing fear in the hearts of Filipinos who fight for what is just and right,” the senator said in a dispatch from Camp Crame. [see also: https://humanrightsdefenders.blog/2018/07/30/senator-de-lima-in-detention-in-philippines-receives-her-award/]

Meanwhile, former Senator Antonio Trillanes IV said the guilty verdict against the Rappler CEO was an “obvious attack” against press freedom and an “attack against our democracy itself.” “We are now but a few steps away from Martial Law,” Trillanes, who has been critical of the Duterte administration, said in a statement.

Meanwhile in June 2020 a film on Maria Ressa won a film award:

http://Maria Ressa Film ‘A Thousand Cuts’ Wins Top Prize at New Zealand’s Doc Edge Festival

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Read more: https://newsinfo.inquirer.net/1291753/pangilinan-hontiveros-slam-ressas-libel-conviction-urge-people-to-speak-out#ixzz6PQEJOfS1
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