Maria Ressa

US National Press Club launches letter-writing campaign on behalf of Maria Ressa, Rappler

Rappler.com
US National Press Club launches letter-writing campaign on behalf of Maria Ressa, Rappler

MARIA RESSA. Rappler CEO and Nobel Prize Laureate Maria Ressa speaks to the medical community during The Battle For Facts forum which talks about fake news and disinformation at the Makati Medical Center on July 18, 2022.

Alecs Ongcal/Rappler

The campaign 'aims to build political pressure inside Washington to ensure Manila knows that Congress considers it a high-priority that Ressa...is not unjustly imprisoned as punishment for her fearless and vital journalism'

MANILA, Philippines – The US National Press Club Press Freedom Team called on members to write to the US lawmakers and urge them to demand that the Philippine government “cease its efforts to shutter and bankrupt the independent news site Rappler and imprison its founder and CEO, Maria Ressa.”

Launched on September 15, the letter-writing campaign “aims to build political pressure inside Washington to ensure Manila knows that Congress considers it a high-priority that Ressa, the Club’s 2020 John Aubuchon International Press Freedom Award honoree, is not unjustly imprisoned as punishment for her fearless and vital journalism.”

Ressa is the US National Press Club’s 2020 John Aubuchon International Press Freedom Award honoree.

“If public interest, accountability journalism vanishes in the Philippines, it will have a detrimental effect on the future democratic direction of this key US trade and security partner in a critical region of the world,” the campaign page read.

On June 29, the Philippines’ Securities and Exchange Commission affirmed its decision to revoke Rappler’s certificates of incorporation. Rappler intends to apply existing legal remedies all the way up to the Supreme Court, and is continuing operations as the order is not immediately executory without court approval.

Then, on July 8, the Philippine Court of Appeals affirmed the cyber libel conviction of Ressa and former Rappler researcher-writer Reynaldo Santos Jr., adding eight months to the initial prison sentence. This is also being appealed.

Ressa’s conviction alarmed press freedom organizations around the world, including the US National Press Club and the National Press Club Journalism Institute. Their joint statement said that the Philippine government is “looking to silence her outspoken and fearless voice, which is often in opposition to many of the restrictive and illegal policies of the government.”

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Nobel committee ‘gravely concerned’ after CA affirms Ressa’s cyber libel conviction

Nobel committee ‘gravely concerned’ after CA affirms Ressa’s cyber libel conviction

The National Press Club, founded in 1908, is the world’s leading professional organization for journalists. – Rappler.com

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