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Monday, January 24, 2022

The Philippine court allowed Maria Ressa to attend the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony

The Philippine Court of Appeals said Friday it would allow journalist Maria Ressa to travel to Norway to receive the Nobel Peace Prize, overturning the government’s decision to bar her from attending the ceremony.

Ms Ressa’s lawyer, Ted Te, filed an appeal last month. for his client after the Philippine Solicitor General said that a journalist could not travel to Norway. The government called her a danger of flight because her “repeated criticism of the Philippine legal process by the international community is indicative of her disrespect for the judicial system.”

In October, Ms Ressa was awarded the Peace Prize alongside Dmitry A. Muratov, a Russian investigative journalist, for “their courageous struggle for freedom of expression.”

Ms Ressa, the first Nobel laureate from the Philippines, is the CEO of Rappler, a digital news organization well known for its investigations into disinformation and President Rodrigo Duterte’s brutal five-year war on drugs. She is an outspoken critic of Mr. Duterte, whose government has filed seven criminal charges against her, including cyber libel and tax evasion.

The decision on Friday came after days of mounting international pressure to allow Ms Ressa to attend the ceremony to be held in Oslo on December 10.

Earlier this week, the United Nations called on the Philippines to allow Ms. Ressa to travel to Norway, saying they were “very concerned” about the restrictions imposed on her. The International Press Institute has warned that by not allowing Ms. Ressa to allow the ceremony, “the Philippines will find itself in the company of some of the most repressive regimes in history.”

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The government last banned a Nobel laureate from receiving the award was in 2010, when China thwarted this dissident, Liu Xiaobo. The only time the award was not received was in 1936, when the Peace Prize was presented to Karl von Ossietzky, a German journalist detained in a concentration camp by Nazi Germany.

Soviet dissident Andrei Sakharov, leader of the Polish Solidarity movement, Lech Walesa and Do Aung San Suu Kyi from Myanmar also did not receive permission from their governments, but their family members were allowed to collect the award on their behalf.

“We would like to think that the Court of Appeal ruled independently of public opinion,” said Mr Te, lawyer for Ms Ressa. “But the Court of Appeal is made up of people who are aware of what is going on. So, of course, whatever they read can affect their way of thinking. “

According to Mr Te, Ms Ress is scheduled to fly to Oslo from Manila on December 8th.

On Thursday, a coalition of human rights defenders and academics from the Philippines called on the government to allow Ms Ressa to travel to Oslo because her presence at the ceremony is “symbolic, urgent and necessary.”

“This brings great honor and recognition not only to Ms. Resse, but also to the Philippines, Filipinos, real and unborn, and all the journalists she represents through this award,” the group said.

World Nation News Deskhttps://www.worldnationnews.com
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