Maria Ressa: Background
IPI Board member Maria Ressa, founder and editor of the award-winning news site Rappler, is the target of numerous criminal and administrative cases in the Philippines, which include tax cases, alleged violations of foreign ownership rules, and libel cases – all designed to harass Ressa and stop Rappler’s work. IPI is calling on Philippine authorities to drop all cases.
She was sentenced in 2020 to up to six years in prison in a “cyberlibel” case, which is now being heard on appeal before the Philippine Supreme Court.
In 2021, Ressa was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize along with Russian editor Dmitry Muratov.
In October 2022, a Philippine appeals court rejected for the second time an appeal by Maria Ressa against her June 2020 conviction on politically motivated “cyberlibel” charges. In July 2022, the Philippine Court of Appeals had upheld the conviction of Ressa and former Rappler researcher Reynaldo Santos Jr. and added almost nine months the maximum jail sentence in their case. The case has now been appealed to the Supreme Court.
In June 2022, Philippine authorities ordered the shutdown of Rappler for allegedly violating foreign ownership rules. Rappler is currently appealing that order.
In September 2022, Ressa joined the IPI World Congress in New York to warn that disinformation was polluting the global information ecosystem and eroding democracy around the world. While arguing that independent, fact-based journalism could act as an “antidote” to misinformation, Ressa argued that regulation and legislation by democratic governments was essential to curb the “insidious” surveillance-for-profit model.
Latest IPI statements
The International Press Institute welcomes today’s acquittal of IPI Executive Board memb…
The IPI global network strongly condemns the decision by a Manila court to deny the appeal…
Regulation of big tech and social media platforms is urgently required to tackle the sprea…
The IPI global network stands behind Maria Ressa
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The politically motivated legal harassment against @rapplerdotcom CEO, IPI Executive Board member @mariaressa must end. I stand with Maria. #HoldTheLine #MariaRessa
From Turkey to Nigeria, IPI members and National Committees around the world are protesting the harassment of Maria Ressa and letting the Philippine authorities know that Maria and Rappler are not alone.
The Turkish National Committee of IPI @globalfreemedia stands in solidarity with @rapplerdotcom founder @mariaressa.— Emre KIZILKAYA (@ekizilkaya) June 10, 2020
Criminal cases against her are part of a larger assault on #PressFreedom in #Duterte's #Philippines.
We write letters to their Embassy ahead of the verdict. pic.twitter.com/3ifYjCy4M6