Philippines: Nobel Prize-winning journalist Maria Ressa’s website shut down

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In the last two days of President Rodrigo Duterte’s term in office, the Hellenic Capital Market Commission (SEC) has issued an order reaffirming its decision to revoke Rappler’s certificates of incorporation.

The order is dated June 28.

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What does this mean; “We have legal remedies up to the highest court in the country. It is the usual procedure for us, as, in our view, this is not immediately enforceable without judicial approval,” Rappler said in a statement on June 29.

The official reason for the decision is that Rappler violated “constitutional and legislative restrictions on foreign ownership of the media.” Under Philippine law, foreigners are not allowed to own local media.

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According to the committee, in 2015 the Rappler site was funded by an American foundation owned by eBay founder Pierre Omidyar. But Rappler claims that the commission approved the agreement from the beginning and that Omidiar did not have control over the media. Among other things, when in 2018, problems arose in relation to the agreement, he himself transferred the shares of Reppler that he had bought, to the website address.

Maria Resa said that Rappler is not preparing to close and will appeal the decision of the authorities.

The decision to close Rappler came a day before the expiration of the term of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, whose status is known for the extrajudicial executions and persecutions of dissidents and dissidents and the systematic criticism of the website.

The Philippine authorities have repeatedly tried to force Rappler to shut down on its own, but the site, which was founded in 2012, is still active. Duterte had said that Rappler’s policy was dictated by the Americans, while Ressa had been accused of tax evasion, slander, violation of the law on foreign owners and spreading defamatory news on the Internet. The journalist was sentenced to 6 years in prison and has now been released on bail.

In 2021, Maria Resa was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, along with Russian journalist and director of the Novaya Gazeta newspaper Dmitry Muratov. In March 2022, Novaya Gazeta suspended its publication in Russia due to pressure from the authorities and censorship imposed by the start of Russia’s war against Ukraine.

In June, Dmitry Muratov sold the Nobel Prize medal at auction for $ 103.5 million, a sum he decided to donate to UNICEF to help children in Ukraine.

Source: ΑΠΕ-ΜΠΕ

Source: Capital

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