Hatol vs Ressa, website block sa Pinas, pinalagan ng UN Special Rapporteur

Hatol vs Ressa, website block sa Pinas, pinalagan ng UN Special Rapporteur

July 17, 2022 @ 1:41 PM 1 month ago


MANILA, Philippines – Pumalag si United Nations Special Rapporteur on freedom of opinion and expression Irene Khan sa desisyon ng korte sa Pilipians na nagpatibay sa paghatol sa cyber libel laban kay journalist at Nobel Peace Prize winner Maria Ressa.

Matatandaang pinagtibay ng Court of Appeals noong Hulyo 7 ang libel conviction kay Ressa, co-founder at CEO ng Rappler, at dating researcher-writer na si Reynaldo Santos Jr, kaugnay sa isang artikulong inilathala na ang negosyanteng si Wilfredo Keng ay may link sa iligal na droga at human trafficking.

Tinaasan din ng parehong korte ang maximum na sentensiya ng pagkakulong ng ilang buwan, o hanggang 6 na taon, 8 buwan at 20 araw.

“The criminalisation of journalists for libel impedes public interest reporting and is incompatible with the right to freedom of expression. Criminal libel law has no place in a democratic country and should be repealed,” ani Khan sa isang press statement.

Sinabi niya na ang 2012 Cybercrime Prevention Act ay inilapat nang retroactive sa kasong ito, dahil ang artikulo ng Rappler na pinag-uusapan ay nai-publish bago pinagtibay ang batas na ito.

“This is yet another example of the relentless attack against Maria Ressa for daring to speak truth to power,” ani Khan.

Pinalagan din ni Khan ang atas ng National Telecommunications Office na website block sa ilang mga media outlets at website sa Pinas na ikinokonekta sa makakaliwang grupo.

“I am deeply concerned by recent developments in the Philippines to silence independent and investigative journalism in the country. I call on the new Administration of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. to put an end to the criminalisation of libel, withdraw the charges against Maria Ressa, reverse the decisions against Rappler, Bulatlat and Pinoy Weekly, and investigate promptly and effectively all attacks and killings of journalists,” dagdag pa niya.

“I urge President Marcos to take this opportunity to bring an end to the crackdown on press freedom in the Philippines.” RNT