CNN’s journalist Christiane Amanpour calls Duterte gov’t ‘desperate’ for arresting Ressa

CNN journalist Christiane Amanpour and President Rodrigo Duterte / compiled photo from News Channel 5  and Google (ctto)

British-Iranian broadcast journalist Christiane Amanpour of CNN has slammed the Philippine government over the arrest of Rappler CEO Maria Ressa for libel.

The CNN host has criticized the Duterte administration saying it was a ‘desperate’ move to arrest a journalist like Ressa.

“You know a government is desperate when they arrest a journalist,” Amanpour said in a tweet on Wednesday moments after Ressa’s arrest

She also called on President Rodrigo Duterte to free her former CNN colleague.

On February 13, several agents of the National Bureau of Investigation arrested Ressa by virtue of a warrant issued by Branch 46 of the Manila Regional Trial Court over the cyberlibel case filed by a private citizen named Wilfredo Keng.

The case reportedly stemmed from an alleged article by Rappler published in 2012 titled “CJ using SUVs of a controversial businessman” linking the businessman Keng to illegal drugs and human trafficking.

Keng has denied the allegation and requested Rappler to take down the article but was instead updated in 2014.

Quoting her statement from Philstar article, Ressa said: “No amount of legal cases, black propaganda, and lies can silence Filipino journalists who continue to hold the line.” 

“These legal acrobatics show how far the government will go to silence journalists, including the pettiness of forcing me to spend the night in jail.” she added

Ressa is also facing five cases of tax evasion before the Court of Tax Appeals and the Pasig City Regional Trial Court, which she described as “no real basis.”

“I’m personally under attack. Rappler as a company is under attack. I think we all know that the line has been moved,” she said

Source: Inquirer

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