U.S. Press Leaders Call For End To All Phony Charges Against Maria Ressa

WASHINGTON, June 2, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Leaders of the National Press Club applauded on Tuesday a Philippine court decision to dismiss a cyber libel suit against award winning journalist Maria Ressa but urged that all trumped-up charges against her should likewise disappear. The court decision Tuesday dismissed one of several suits against Ressa, who has withstood a state-sanctioned campaign of intimidation. Ressa, the founder and CEO of the Rappler news site is appealing an earlier conviction on cyber libel charges as well as unfounded charges of having violated tax laws and foreign ownership rules. Ressa was a recipient of a 2020 John Aubuchon Press Freedom Award for her coverage in the face of harassment by Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte,

“We are pleased to hear the good news that one libel charge against journalist Maria Ressa in the Philippines has been dismissed by the court and her bail has been ordered refunded to her,” said Lisa Nicole Matthews, president of the National Press Club and Angela Greiling Keane, president of the National Press Club Journalism Institute. “These legal actions were unwarranted from the beginning and served as nothing more than a tactic to silence one of the world’s leading voices for press freedom. In dismissing the case with prejudice, the court found that “the prosecution can no longer prove the guilt of the accused beyond a reasonable doubt.’ We look forward to the other cases against Ms. Ressa meeting a similar fate.”

Ressa spoke at a National Press Club virtual event on World Press Freedom Day http://www.press.org/newsroom/maria-ressa-her-fight-press-freedom-philippines-and-around-world in an interview with Jason Rezaian of the Washington Post.

Founded in 1908, The National Press Club is the world’s leading professional organization for journalists. The Club has 3,000 members representing nearly every major news organization and is a leading voice for press freedom in the United States and around the world.

The National Press Club Journalism Institute, the Club’s non-profit affiliate, promotes an engaged global citizenry through an independent and free press and equips journalists with skills and standards to inform the public in ways that inspire civic engagement.

Contact: John Donnelly, NPC Press Freedom Team Chairman: [email protected] 202-650-6738.

 

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SOURCE National Press Club

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