News analysis

Ruling against Philippine journalist Maria Ressa highlights sweeping powers of cyber libel, say activists

Journalist Maria Ressa arrives for her court verdict in Manila on June 15, 2020. PHOTO: AFP
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MANILA - A court ruling on a case lodged against Maria Ressa, one of the Philippines' most prominent journalists, is casting the spotlight on cyber libel, which is increasingly being seen as a threat, not just to journalists, but also to anyone who has something to say or express online.

"This involves not only media people… This sends an even bigger chill not only across the profession but across the nation. This is not only a diminution but a grave erosion of freedom to this country. This is really bad," said veteran journalist Vergel Santos, of the Centre for Media Freedom and Responsibility (CMFR).

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