Rappler CEO Maria Ressa talks with the media after posting bail. | Photo by CMFR

[Philippines] Rappler’s Maria Ressa Posts Bail on Cyber Libel

Rappler CEO and Executive Editor Maria Ressa posted bail today, 14 February 2019, at Branch 46 of the Manila Regional Trial Court (RTC) in connection with a cyber libel charge over an article the online news site published in 2012.

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[Philippines] An Attack on One is an Attack on All

We call on the press and media community to condemn this outrage and to stand with Rappler. An attack on the freedom of one journalist or one news organization weakens the capacity of the entire institution to report the truth and is an attack on all of us and on democracy itself.

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[Philippines] Arrest of Maria Ressa is persecution by a bully government

Even as we are certain they will hold the line, we stand with Maria and our colleagues at Rappler and urge all colleagues who value the work we do and the independence essential to it to circle the wagons and resist this blatant assault on our right and liberties.

We call on all freedom-loving Filipinos to stand with the independent Philippine press in defense of the rights not only of media but of the people. For in suppressing the press it is the people’s right to know that is trampled on.

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[Philippines] Rappler’s Maria Ressa arrested for cyber libel

Journalist Maria Ressa was arrested Wednesday, 13 February 2019, for online libel by officers of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) at Rappler’s office, in Pasig City. 

We will “cooperate with the authorities and try to post bail tonight,” Ressa said during the brief press conference held at Rappler’s office immediately after the arrest warrant was served.

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[Philippines] Maria Ressa’s arrest ‘belies all pretense of upholding press freedom’ —SEAPA

“The issuance of the arrest warrant and the entering of charges against Maria Ressa should settle any remaining doubt that President Rodrigo Duterte’s administration will stop at nothing to keep a free and inquisitive media out of its way.”

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Weekly Media Roundup (2 – 8 February 2019)

Some of the press freedom- and free expression-related events and issues you might have missed last week

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[Philippines] Cyber attack downs NUJP site twice

The National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) website was briefly inaccessible twice on 8 February 2019 in a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack, the group said in a statement.

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[Vietnam] Radio Free Asia blogger goes missing after seeking refugee status in Thailand

Vietnamese blogger Truong Duy Nhat has been missing since 26 January 2019, and no one knows his whereabouts. Just three days ago, on 5 February 2019, Radio Free Asia (RFA) reported that they have lost contact with Nhat and are “extremely concerned” about his safety and well-being.  

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[Myanmar] Facebook ramps up ban on hate mongers’ accounts

Social media giant Facebook has banned four more groups, which it described as “dangerous organizations” based on their verified use of the platform to incite violence and attacks on civilians in Myanmar. 

The Arakan Army, Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army, Kachin Independence Army, and Ta’ang National Liberation Army (TNLA) were taken down Tuesday, 5 February 2019, and prevented from using Facebook’s services to “fuel tension on the ground.” 

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[Myanmar] Dismal state of free expression today’s reality under NLD-led gov’t

In its latest report on free speech, “Dashed Hopes: The Criminalization of Peaceful Expression in Myanmar,” the Human Rights Watch (HRW) outlined the current civic space for journalists and civil society in the country. While laws that criminalize free speech and defamation were enacted by previous administrations in Myanmar, the NLD government whose de facto leader is Aung San Suu Kyi, once known as the country’s icon of democracy, has made no progress in repealing or amending these laws, said the report released on 31 January 2019.

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[Philippines] Cyber attacks continue against alternative news website

Alternative media organization Bulatlat.com reported receiving continuous denial-of-service (DoS) attacks from 19 to 29 January 2019, which brought the website down for several days.

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Weekly Media Roundup (19 – 25 January 2019)

Some of the press freedom- and free expression-related events and issues you might have missed last week

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Dire state of freedom of expression in SEA mirrors global trend

The continuing rise of autocratic forces across the globe weakened checks and balances for democracy such as free media, civic groups, and an independent judiciary in 2018 – and Southeast Asia was no exception. These are documented in the newly released World Report 2019 of the Human Rights Watch (HRW).

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