Philippine journalist Maria Ressa released on bail, CPJ calls her arrest ‘campaign of intimidation’

WrittenBy:NL Team

Maria Ressa, an award-winning journalist, has been released on bail following her arrest on cyber libel charges. Ressa is the co-founder and editor of online news outlet Rappler, which gained prominence for its coverage of President Rodrigo Duterte. The Rappler editor’s lawyer was able to secure her release after paying a 100,000 Philippines peso bail ($1,915) fee, CNN reported.

In a statement issued after her release, Ressa said, “I’m not a victim. I will hold the government for its actions. The best defence is a good offence. Actions speak louder than words. We’re journalists; we do our jobs. The key thing is, the reason why they’ve gone through these lengths is to send a message to other journalists and citizens: stay quiet.” She added: “when you stop asking tough questions, then our democracy is in perilous risk.”
Speaking about her arrest, Ressa said, “The fact that it happened at all is alarming. I’m not a flight risk in any level… We need to make sure that we call attention every time the line is crossed, and yank them back. It’s clear that this abuse of power is what the government thinks they can do.”
Ressa’s release comes following an international outcry. Yesterday, the Committee to Protect Journalists had called Philippine government’s legal harassment of Rappler and Ressa as campaign of intimidation.
US senator Brian Schatz had also condemned Ressa’s arrest on what he called “trumped-up charges”, the Guardian reported.


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