IPI Executive Board member Maria Ressa is facing a wave of politically motivated prosecutions in The Philippines designed to silence her. IPI members around the world stand by her. #HoldTheLine #MariaRessa

Maria Ressa: Background

  • IPI Board member Maria Ressa, founder and editor of the award-winning news site Rappler, faces at least eight active criminal and administrative cases, 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 faces up to 100 years in prison across all currently open cases.

  • Press freedom is under severe threat in the Philippines. In addition to the cases against Ressa and Rappler, authorities stripped the country’s largest broadcaster, ABS-CBN, of its license.

Latest developments

  • On March 11, Ressa and Rambo Talabong went to court for a scheduled arraignment in a cyber libel case filed against them in connection with a Rappler investigative story that exposed a “thesis-for-sale” scam. A motion prompted a rescheduling of the arraignment to April 8. This is the third cyber-libel case against Ressa.

  • On March 4, Ressa was forced to testify in court regarding several politically motivated tax cases against her. Before entering court she said: “It’s unbelievable. but we take it right? We will win these cases and win.”

  • At its meeting in February, the IPI Executive Board again declared its solidarity with fellow Board member Ressa and called for an end to the harassment of her.

Latest IPI statements

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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

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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.

Press briefing with Maria Ressa (June 10, 2020)