Journalists, institutions decry ‘absurd legal attack’ against Rappler

News Philippines Feb 8, 2019 at 5:03 pm
Maria Ressa

Maria Ressa

MANILA, Philippines – A number of journalist groups and institutions slammed the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) recommendation to file cyber libel charges against Rappler Incorporated, its CEO and executive editor Maria Ressa, and former researcher Reynaldo Santos Jr over a nearly 7-year-old story written months before the cyber libel law was enacted.

In a press statement, Amnesty International called the charges an “absurd legal attack.”

Amnesty International’s Philippines Section Director Butch Olano added, “In this instance, the anti-cybercrime law has clearly been weaponized against legitimate dissent and free speech. It is all the more ridiculous given that the National Bureau of Investigation, which first reviewed the complaint, dismissed this claim as baseless last year. This repressive law must be repealed by the government and charges dropped against Ressa and Rappler.”

The ASEAN Parliamentarians for Human Rights also reacted in a tweet saying, “The crackdown on critics under #Duterte must end.”

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