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HUMAN RIGHTS GROUPS: Ressa, Santos conviction an assault to media freedom

Conviction highlights the ability of the Philippines’ abusive leader to manipulate the laws to go after critical media 

The Human Rights Watch (HRW) on Monday slammed the conviction of Rappler CEO Maria Ressa and former researcher Reynaldo Santos Jr. for cyber libel, saying it is “a devastating blow to media freedom in the Philippines.”

“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,” said Phil Robertson, deputy Asia director at Human Rights Watch in a statement following the issuance of the decision.

“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,” he added.

HRW noted that the cases filed against Rappler only show the Duterte administration’s determination to intimidate and shut down the online news site. READ MORE

Originally published in GMA News Online

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