The Editorial Staff of Thai Enquirer stands with Rappler’s Maria Ressa and her staff after their conviction by a Philippines court on Monday.
Ms Ressa was found guilty of criminal libel for publishing a report on links between businessman Wilfredo Keng and drug and human trafficking.
The article in question was published two years before the cyber libel laws that Ms Ressa is convicted of. Keng also did not file the suit until 2017, one year after President Rodrigo Duterte was elected into office.
Rappler has extensively reported on the abuse of power by Duterte since his election in 2016 including a bloody drug war that has left thousands of people dead. Keng is seen as a close ally of Duterte.
Ms Ressa’s conviction on Monday could see her jailed for six years.
As a fellow member of ASEAN, we here in Thailand know what it is like when the government interferes with the press and what it is like when the government threatens journalists with imprisonment for reporting on the truth.
We understand, at Thai Enquirer, that the erosion of media freedom anywhere, especially in a neighbouring country, affects press freedom everywhere.
We call on the government of the Philippines to overturn the verdict and release all restrictions on press freedom.
Journalism is not a crime. #JournalismIsNotACrime
Editor in Chief