Responding to news that Philippine Solicitor General Jose Calida has asked the Supreme Court for a gag order against statements about its pending petition to nullify the franchises of TV network ABS-CBN, Amnesty International’s Regional Director Nicholas Bequelin said:
“This gag order is a clear attempt to silence critics of the government and would set a very dangerous precedent in violation of the right to freedom of expression. It is particularly reprehensible that the government is requesting to prevent people from freely discussing issues of public interest such as media freedom, and ongoing human rights violations in the country.
“The authorities are cracking down not just on the TV network but also on the right of every Filipino to freely express themselves. This plea must be withdrawn.
“It is unacceptable for the authorities to blatantly attempt to restrict freedom of expression and then expect people in the Philippines to simply remain silent. If anything, the government’s continued efforts to undermine the press’s ability to report freely will only invite more criticism. The government would do better by listening and addressing what is driving such criticism rather than resorting to legal theatrics to suppress human rights.”
Read more @www.amnesty.org
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