Philippines journalist Maria Ressa found guilty of ‘cyber libel’ in latest blow to free press
On Monday, Phillipina journalist Maria Ressa was found guilty of libel and sentenced to six months in jail. Ressa and press freedom groups have described the arrest and subsequent trial a politically motivated prosecution. Ressa was arrested last year in Manila while at work for her online news outlet Rappler. Rappler has gained viewed for its anti-government viewpoints.
Rappler also rose in popularity during the war on drugs initiated within the country by President Rodrigo Duarte. Rappler wrote a story on businessman Wilfredo Keng, tying him to illicit drug usage and human trafficking. The article was posted two years before new civil libel laws were established.