The Society of Publishers in Asia (SOPA) is concerned about the recent arrest in the Philippines of Rappler CEO and Executive Editor Maria Ressa.
Ms Ressa continues to maintain her innocence in response to charges of ‘cyber-libel’ that the Philippines authorities have cited. The charges have been widely condemned by journalism and human rights organisations in the Philippines, and Ms Ressa has characterised the latest charges as part of a wider campaign of intimidation and disruption of journalism and journalists in the Philippines.
In the strongest possible terms, SOPA condemns the latest arrest of Ms Ressa and calls on the authorities in Manila to respect due process. Journalists must be allowed to operate freely and safely.