Hillary Clinton, Madeleine Albright stand with Maria Ressa

 

Former US secretaries of state Hillary Clinton and Madeleine Albright expressed their solidarity with Rappler CEO and executive editor Maria Ressa, after a Manila court convicted her and former Rappler researcher-writer Reynaldo Santos Jr of cyber libel.

Clinton and Albright took to social media to show their solidarity with Ressa following the announcement of the conviction on Monday, June 15.

"Maria Ressa was convicted in the Philippines yesterday for doing her job," tweeted Clinton. (READ: Judge Montesa 'failed to understand how journalism works')

She quoted international and human rights lawyer Amal Clooneyamong Ressa's international lawyers – who had said that the court decision is a warning to other journalists to "keep quiet, or you'll be next." 

"We must fiercely protest attacks on the press. They are attacks on democracy," Clinton said.  (READ: Why democracies should push back vs Maria Ressa verdict)

Maria Ressa was convicted in the Philippines yesterday for doing her job. As Amal Clooney wrote, the message to other journalists is “Keep quiet, or you’ll be next.” We must fiercely protest attacks on the press. They are attacks on democracy. https://t.co/YYyamMVfht — Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) June 15, 2020

Albright threw her support for Ressa early Tuesday morning, June 16.

"I stand with Maria Ressa," she tweeted. 

I stand with Maria Ressa. #HoldTheLine #CourageON #DefendPressFreedom @rapplerdotcom @mariaressa https://t.co/sIO2Xg87eZ — Madeleine Albright (@madeleine) June 15, 2020

Albright chairs the National Democratic Institute (NDI), which awarded Rappler in 2017 with the W. Averell Harriman Democracy Award for its work in fighting disinformation and fake news.

Even Twitter itself has made a stand for Ressa

"Governments should not impinge on the fundamental values of a free press. It must end now," the Twitter Public Policy page said in a tweet on Monday. 

Ressa and Santos' cyber libel case is the most high-profile case filed against individual journalists during the Duterte administration. Their conviction has reaped strong criticism at home and abroad. (READ: 'A sad day fro democracy': Filipinos denounce guilty verdict in Rappler libel case– Rappler.com