Sunday, January 16, 2022

IPI urges Philippine government to let Maria Ressa attend Nobel ceremony

“We…call on the government of the Philippines to allow our fellow board member and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Maria Ressa to attend her Nobel ceremony….”

• December 1, 2021
Maria Ressa and International Press Institute

The Philippine government should drop all charges against Nobel Peace Prize winner Maria Ressa and allow her to attend the Nobel ceremony slated for December 10, says the International Press Institute.

The IPI executive board also asked the Philippine government to lift the travel restrictions preventing Ms Ressa from travelling to Norway to accept her Nobel prize. 

The IPI made the demands in a statement published on its website on Tuesday. 

“We, the undersigned members of the global Executive Board of the International Press Institute (IPI) – editors and journalists hailing from 22 countries – call on the government of the Philippines to allow our fellow board member and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Maria Ressa to attend her Nobel ceremony on December 10 in Oslo,” the statement said. 

The IPI added, “Equally, we renew our call on the Philippine authorities to drop all remaining charges against Ressa. We view these charges as targeted harassment intended as retaliation against Ressa and her news outlet, Rappler, for their critical reporting.”

The move to block Ms Ressa from travelling has been met with public criticisms. 

The United Nations on Monday also called for the Philippines to allow Ms Ressa to travel to Norway to accept the award. Ms Ressa had requested the government’s approval to travel to Norway to receive the Nobel Peace Prize on December 10.

The Philippine government considers Ms Ressa “a flight risk.”

Richard Gordon, the Senate Committee on Justice and Human Rights chairman, urged the government to reconsider its decision on Tuesday

Ms Ressa, who was jointly awarded the 2021 Nobel Peace Prize with Russian journalist Dmitry Muratovr, has faced legal action for various reasons, as well as the suspension of her news site, Rappler. 

Ms Ressa has been targeted for her scrutiny of government policies, including the war on drugs launched by President Rodrigo Duterte.

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