IWMF Demands Justice for Rappler’s Maria Ressa

[June 15, 2020] – The IWMF is appalled by the conviction of Maria Ressa, CEO and co-founder of Rappler and one of the most prominent journalists in the Philippines, on charges of cyber libel. We stand with Ressa and her colleague Reynaldo Santos, Jr. and call for the immediate dismissal of all charges against them.

This baseless conviction is yet another deliberate attempt by the Philippine government to silence Ressa’s voice. Since its founding in 2012, Rappler has produced reputable, uncompromising reporting that exposes government corruption and holds the Philippines’ top officials – including President Duterte – to account. Censoring this reporting is a blatant attack on press freedom.

Like so many other women journalists, Ressa faces persistent online harassment for her coverage. On top of her legal battle, these attacks, waged by pro-Duterte troll armies, are further attempts to silence Ressa’s work and eliminate all criticism of the Duterte regime.

Ressa now faces up to six years in prison for these erroneous charges. The IWMF demands that officials overturn this conviction immediately, and that President Duterte and the Philippine government begin upholding a free, democratic press.

Learn more about ways to support Rappler and its fight for press freedom in the Philippines here.