Pardon Journalist Wrongfully Convicted to Silence the Press

Target: Rodrigo Duterte, President of the Philippines

Goal: Pardon and apologize to editor convicted of libel in attempt to destroy freedom of the press.

Maria Ressa, executive editor of Philippine news outlet Rappler, has been convicted of libel by a Philippine court as part of President Rodrigo Duterte’s ongoing campaign of harassment against that country’s press. Ressa is a longtime critic of Duterte’s regime and its actions such as the extrajudicial murder of addicts, violent suppression of opponents, and defense of rape and war crimes.

A businessman accused of corruption by Rappler used the website’s correction of a typo in an article concerning him as an absurd pretext to sue the publication under libel law. Ressa and her employee Reynaldo Santos, Jr. have been sentenced to between six months and six years imprisonment, and fines equivalent to $8,000.

This shameful attack on free speech and a free press sets a dangerous precedent in the Philippines, clearing the way to punish those who criticize wealthy and powerful individuals in the country. Sign the petition below to demand that this injustice be undone and Ressa and her colleague released.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Mr. President,

The conviction of Maria Ressa for cyberlibel on trumped-up charges is a mockery of justice and a dangerous attack on the free press. Allowing the editor of a major news organization to be attacked and silenced paves the way for powerful individuals to crush opposition with impunity, destroying a key freedom in the Philippines.

I demand that you pardon Maria Ressa and Reynaldo Santos, Jr. immediately. If you don’t protect basic liberties, the only people who suffer will be your own people, while the world will condemn your failure.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Joshua Lim




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One Comment

  1. This is freedom of the press which the Philippines needs so much!! Drop all charges now!! This is unacceptable!! Leave her alone to do her job for the people of the Philippines!

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