IWMF Denounces Philippine SEC Order to Shut Down Rappler

The International Women’s Media Foundation (IWMF) is outraged by the Philippine Security and Exchange Commission (PSEC) order to shut down news outlet Rappler. Independent media are critical to holding power to account; this attempt to silence Rappler’s work is a deliberate attack on press freedom.

Announced in the final days of the Duterte administration, this is a blatant attempt to censor one of the administration’s most powerful critics, Maria Ressa, the founder of Rappler and 2021 Nobel Peace Prize winner. For years Ressa has fought relentless legal opposition intended to censor her voice and delegitimize Rappler’s reporting. In addition to facing litigation, Ressa has endured horrific online attacks designed to stop her from reporting.

The Philippines currently ranks 147th out of 180 countries on the Reporters Without Borders press freedom index. For a free news media to operate in the country, this state-sanctioned harassment and violence must end.

We call on the PSEC to reverse this decision and allow Rappler to continue its work freely, and join the global press freedom community to hold the line in support for Rappler and Ressa.