MANILA, Philippines – International human rights lawyers Amal Clooney and Caoilfhionn Gallagher QC will join Rappler CEO Maria Ressa’s legal team.
In a statement, Clooney expressed confidence in Maria Ressa as a ‘courageous’ journalist “who is being persecuted for reporting the news and standing up to human rights abuses.”
Ressa is currently facing several criminal cases including tax evasion and cyberlibel.
Together with her team, Clooney promised to protect the rights of journalists in the country with their handling of Ressa’s charges.
“We will pursue all available legal remedies to vindicate her rights and defend press freedom and the rule of law in the Philippines,” she said.
Meanwhile, Ressa said she is ‘delighted’ by Clooney and her team’s willingness to help in her case.
“I have been targeted and attacked simply for being an independent journalist,” Ressa said in a statement.
“I am delighted that Amal Clooney and her team will be representing me at the international level to challenge the violations of my rights and those of the media organization I represent,” the embattled journalist added.
Clooney and Gallagher, both specializing in international law and human rights, are members of the Doughty Street Chambers law firm. – with details from Mai Bermudez
MMDA Spokesperson Asec. Celine Pialago has filed a complaint before the PNP Anti-cybercrime group against the administrators of three Facebook pages who allegedly have been disseminating false information about her.
In a post of Pinoy laugh page, it stated that Pialago has allegedly advised commuters to better stay at home if they were having difficulty commuting to work.
Pialago vehemently denied saying such a statement.
Aside from the said administrators, the MMDA spokesperson is also planning to hold the twitter page users responsible for spreading fake news about her.
The PNP Anti-cybercrime group is now looking into the identities of the said Facebook page administrators. —FSG (with details from April Cenedoza)
Human rights lawyer Amal Clooney said on Wednesday (July 10) that nations including Australia, Britain and the U.S. set an example for other world leaders in their handling of media freedom cases.
Clooney was speaking in London at a conference for media freedom attended by delegations from more than 100 countries.
British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt and Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland joined Clooney on stage at the event which was hosted by Britain with the Canadian government.
During her speech, Clooney spoke of assaults on media freedom including Australian police raiding the offices of the national broadcaster in June over allegations it had published classified material.
Clooney also noted the ongoing case of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange and the arrest of two Northern Ireland journalists in the U.K. The pair were arrested over the alleged theft of documents used in a documentary; however British police have since dropped their case.
The conference aimed to defend media freedom from restrictive practices by governments, encourage participants to develop plans to legislate for a free press, help improve journalists’ safety and counter disinformation. (REUTERS)
REUTERS – Rappler CEO Maria Ressa pleaded not guilty on Wednesday (April 3) to tax evasion charges.
Ressa maintained that the tax dodging case, as well as the other cases filed against her and online news platform Rappler, were “politically motivated”.
“I still say that these cases are all politically motivated. Where in the world do you come home on a Friday, get arrested, post bail and on a Monday, get another arrest warrant and post bail again. I’ve been arrested twice in a little over a month and a week or so, right?” Ressa told reporters.
“It’s clear but we will fight every single one, and hope for the integrity of the men and women who will handle these cases, and that they go as well as today,” she added.
The Department of Justice (DOJ) in October indicted Ressa, and online news platform Rappler, for attempting to evade taxes by not reporting gains of almost $3 million in the company’s 2015 tax returns.
Ressa was served an arrest warrant over a libel case live on television in February and spent a night in detention before she was released.
She was arrested again last Friday (March 29) on charges she had violated foreign ownership rules. She was later freed by the court after she posted bail.
“It’s very serious for me. Each charge, there are four different charges, and each charge could carry a prison penalty from two to 10 years, so altogether 40 years, so it’s real, it’s very real, it’s the first arraignment of 11 investigations and cases against Rappler,” the embattled journalist said.
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