The Philippine government is opposed to Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Maria Ressa travels to Oslo in December to receive his award, citing a “risk of flight“, according to documents consulted Thursday by AFP.
Maria Ressa, co-founder of the Rappler investigative website, and Russian journalist Dmitry Muratov were awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in October for their efforts to “safeguard freedom of expression“.
“This is not a compelling reason”
The former correspondent of the American channel CNN, currently free on bail awaiting her appeal after being convicted in June of defamation, had asked the justice to be able to go to Norway for the ceremony, on December 10. But the Advocate General lodged an objection with the Court of Appeal, arguing that Ms. Ressa’s right to travel was “not absolute“and that she had not demonstrated a”compelling reason“to travel to Oslo, according to a copy of the document seen by AFP on Thursday.
“Her recurring criticisms of Filipino legal proceedings reveal her lack of respect for the justice system which, in turn, puts her at risk of absconding.“, said the Advocate General in this document dated November 8.
Maria Ressa endures legal action
Maria Ressa, 58, in particular shone the spotlight on the violence accompanying the drug campaign initiated by Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, which, according to human rights organizations, has killed tens of thousands.
Since Rodrigo Duterte was elected head of state in 2016, Maria Ressa and his media outlet have endured arrests, lawsuits and numerous online threats.
Prosecuted in seven cases in total, including one for which she faces up to six years in prison, the journalist accused them of “ridiculous“.
Also an American citizen, Maria Ressa is currently in the United States after having obtained permission to travel there.
The Nobel Institute felt that it was “shameful for a Nation not to free its citizens so that they can go to Oslo to receive the Nobel Peace Prize“.