I am deeply concerned about Maria Ressa, human rights defender and chief editor at the news site Rappler. On 15 June 2020, she and her co-worker at Rappler, Reynaldo Santos Jr were charged with “cyber libel” and face up to six years in prison.
I therefore urge you to immediately drop all charges against Maria Ressa, her current and former colleagues at Rappler, and Rappler itself. Please ensure that the government is committed to respecting, promoting, protecting and fulfilling the right to freedom of expression and media freedom in the country in policy and practice. I call on you to end the harassment, intimidation and attacks on Maria, Rappler and independent media in the Philippines. I ask you to conduct a thorough, impartial, independent, transparent and effective investigation about the human rights violations and abuses including those relating to the right to freedom of expression and media freedom and bring to justice those suspected to be responsible.