International media groups and personalities added their voice to the outcry against the arrest of Rappler CEO and executive editor Maria Ressa.
Below are their tweets.
let’s be clear: this very serious escalation is harassment of media inconsistent w #Philippines obligations to promote & protect freedom of expression—>Rappler CEO @mariaressa arrested for cyber libel https://t.co/TnzPeGcFzo via @rapplerdotcom
— David Kaye (@davidakaye) February 13, 2019
You know a government is desperate when they arrest a journalist.
— Christiane Amanpour (@camanpour) February 13, 2019
— Agnes Callamard (@AgnesCallamard) February 13, 2019
— Patrick Butler (@pbutler50) February 13, 2019
— Kathleen Carroll (@kathleencarrll) February 13, 2019
Maria Ressa is an outstanding journalist – her arrest shows the way free journalism is under threat https://t.co/797pcKAVSy
— Diogo Q Andrade (@dqandrade) February 13, 2019
— Robert Mahoney (@RobertMMahoney) February 13, 2019
IFEX strongly supports @MariaRessa, the CEO of independent #Philippines news website @Rappler, who was arrested earlier today on trumped-up libel charges. Press freedom advocates across the globe, including our members @CMFR and @SEAPA, are watching closely. #DefendPressFreedom https://t.co/RNs5islY9v
— IFEX (@IFEX) February 13, 2019
[#Philippines] "The issuance of the arrest warrant and the entering of charges against @mariaressa should settle any remaining doubt that Duterte’s admin will stop at nothing to keep a free and inquisitive media out of its way." #DefendPressFreedomhttps://t.co/RhfcKb8jAL
— SEAPA (@seapa) February 13, 2019
We call on Philippine authorities to immediately release #MariaRessa, drop this spurious cyber libel charge, and cease and desist this campaign of intimidation aimed at silencing @rapplerdotcom. #Philippines https://t.co/MCzksEvUG5
— Committee to Protect Journalists (@pressfreedom) February 13, 2019
Rappler CEO Maria Ressa has been arrested over an accusation of "cyber-libel" for an article she published in 2012. This is an affront to freedom of expression, and the charges should be dropped immediately. https://t.co/DCjdTei4Kn
— PEN America (@PENamerican) February 13, 2019
— RSF (@RSF_inter) February 13, 2019
We call on Philippine authorities to immediately release @MariaRessa, our 2018 @ICFJKnight Award winner, and to drop all charges against her. We stand with her and her journalists @Rapplerdotcom. #holdtheline https://t.co/Pbn9EPUz2R https://t.co/fF5G7u8Rfz
— ICFJ (@ICFJ) February 13, 2019
The arrest of @mariaressa of @rapplerdotcom is an outrageous attempt by #Philippines government to silence a news organization that has been courageously investigating corruption and human rights violations in the country.
IPI statement: https://t.co/lqRaR1xnZQ
— IPI (@globalfreemedia) February 13, 2019
#Alert⚠️: Journalist @mariaressa has been arrested for "cyber libel" in the #Philippines. This is is a shameless act of persecution by a bully government! All our support to Maria, the @nujp and @rapplerdotcom @ifjasiapacific #JournalismIsNotACrime https://t.co/FN5zBMus2B pic.twitter.com/liLSIaRwms
— IFJ (@IFJGlobal) February 13, 2019
At the UP Fair where Ressa is set to talk on press freedom on the night of her arrest, students and the audience expressed their support for Maria Ressa.
LOOK: At the #UPFair2019 where Rappler CEO and executive editor @mariaressa is set to talk, LED screens at the stage show the words JUSTICE FOR MARIA RESSA and #DefendPressFreedom. @rapplerdotcom pic.twitter.com/3j6ZxZf7Tu
— Kurt Adrian (@KurtAdrianDP) February 13, 2019
The College Editors Guild of the Philippines led the lighting of phones in solidarity with Ressa and in condemnation of her arrest.
WATCH: Thousands of people light up their phones to urge other individuals to #DefendPressFreedom. This part of #UPFair2019 is part of the action of solidarity for Maria Ressa and Rappler. | via @KurtAdrianDP pic.twitter.com/0UeUltmmld
— Rappler (@rapplerdotcom) February 13, 2019
Maria Ressa trended on Twitter worldwide at the time of her arrest around 5pm and, with #DefendPressFreedom, became trending topics on Twitter in the Philippines from the time of her arrest until midnight. Filipino journalists also used the call #HoldtheLine.
The cyber libel charge was the latest in a string of cases filed by the government against Rappler and Ressa since last year.
Aside from cyber libel, Rappler and Ressa were slapped with tax evasion charges earlier.
A year ago, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) revoked Rappler’s incorporation papers, citing its alleged violation of the constitutional restriction on foreign ownership of mass media, which Rappler has already denied.
Rappler said that the latest attempt to intimidate them will not succeed.
Rappler statement on Maria Ressa’s arrest: ‘We will continue to tell the truth’ #DefendPressFreedom
— Rappler (@rapplerdotcom) February 13, 2019