Unlikely hero: Alex Adonis and the fight to decriminalize libel
by Dino Testa, InterAksyon.com
February 28, 2012
MANILA, Philippines — For years, media organizations in the country have been campaigning for the decriminalization of libel, saying the existing law, which dates back to the American colonial period and was used to curtail dissent, continues to be used with impunity by those in power more to muzzle press freedom than to seek redress against journalistic abuse.
Recently, what could be their biggest breakthrough came when the United Nations Human Rights Committee deemed the country’s criminal libel law “incompatible” with Article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil Political Rights, which protects the right to free expression and opinion.
For this development, Filipino journalists owe a debt to one colleague who, ironically, was forced to give up more than two years of his life.
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