[Statement] Human Rights Online Philippines reaction on the arrest of Rappler CEO and executive editor Maria Ressa

Human Rights Online Philippines reaction on the arrest of Rappler CEO and executive editor Maria Ressa

The Human Rights Online Philippines (HRonlinePH) today called on the government authorities to immediately release Maria Ressa who have been arrested yesterday, 13 February in connection with a cyber libel cased filed by the Department of Justice.

Maria Ressa was arrested by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) agents and detained at the Pasay court. The arrest warrant was issued on 12 February by Presiding Judge Rainelda Estacio Montesa of the Manila Regional Trial Court Branch 46.

HRonlinePH stress that the arrest of Maria Ressa shows the fragility of the government rather than strength. The arrest clearly shows systematic efforts by the government to quell press freedom. The arrest has fostered a climate fear in which journalists and human rights defenders who are critical of the government do not if, or when, they will face arrest or other forms of harassment.

We called on the government authorities to observe the rule of law by dropping the trump up charge against Maria Ressa and release her immediately from detention.

Free Maria Ressa now!

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