Philippine journalist forced to apologize for criticizing coronavirus “inaction”

first_img Joshua Molo is the editor of UE Dawn, the student newspaper at Manila’s University of the East (image: Ralph de Jesus / Far Eastern University Advocate).. Mass international solidarity campaign launched in support of Maria Ressa Organisation Their victim was Joshua Molo, the editor of UE Dawn, the student newspaper at Manila’s University of the East, who had posted criticism of the government’s “inaction” on Facebook. Molo was summoned before the “barangay” (community council) in the San Fernando Sur district of his hometown, Cabiao, 95 km north of Manila, for a “mediation” meeting at midday on 5 April in response to a complaint by three of his former high school teachers, who are Duterte supporters. RSF_en Reporters Without Borders (RSF) is appalled to learn that supporters of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte pressured a student newspaper editor into issuing a public apology and, in effect, renouncing his right to free speech after he criticized the government’s handling of the coronavirus epidemic. PhilippinesAsia – Pacific Online freedoms Covid19Freedom of expressionJudicial harassment May 3, 2021 Find out more Totalitarian practice News to go further Molo said the teachers threatened to sue him for libel, while barangay officials threatened to have him arrested if he did not issue an apology and pledge not to criticize the government again. Unable to afford the legal costs of defending himself in a lawsuit, he gave a public apology in a video posted on Facebook at around 1:30 pm. Two other journalists, Mario Batuigas and Amor Virata, are facing the possibility of up to two months in prison as a result of charges brought by the police on 28 March under a new law penalizing “false information” about the coronavirus crisis although “false information” is not legally defined. “It is absolutely intolerable that a student journalist has been harassed by his elders in this way to the point of having to renounce his right to freedom of expression,” said Daniel Bastard, the head of RSF’s Asia-Pacific desk. February 16, 2021 Find out more Help by sharing this information April 7, 2020 – Updated on May 6, 2020 Philippine journalist forced to apologize for criticizing coronavirus “inaction” Receive email alerts “Forcing dissidents to make public apologies is the prerogative of totalitarian regimes. That this practice is taking place in the Philippines today speaks volumes about the current state of democracy in this country under President Duterte.” News News June 1, 2021 Find out more Filipina journalist still held although court dismissed case eleven days ago The Philippines is ranked 134th out of 180 countries in RSF’s 2019 World Press Freedom Index. PhilippinesAsia – Pacific Online freedoms Covid19Freedom of expressionJudicial harassment Philippines: RSF and the #HoldTheLine Coalition welcome reprieve for Maria Ressa, demand all other charges and cases be dropped News Follow the news on Philippineslast_img

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