We condemn the Duterte government’s arrest of Rappler chief and TIME Person of the Year Maria Ressa, the latest of the series of actions aimed at stifling press freedom in the country.
Duterte is jailing the TIME Person of the Year. It could be any of us next if, as Maria keeps on repeating, we do not hold the line. The arrest of Maria Ressa for fighting disinformation puts a target sign on all those who tell the truth.
The arrest of Maria sends a chilling signal to all journalists and the public that press freedom is under attack by state forces.
President Duterte will not stop until he has silenced voices who speak of the truth about his administration - hounded by extrajudicial killings, corruption, nepotism, and misogyny.
This arrest is deplorable. It highlights Duterte's fear of true, free and critical journalism.
We call on all journalists to stand with Maria against this brazen attack of press freedom. We call on the public to collectively hold the line, defend press freedom as a pillar of our democracy, and rally behind Maria.
It is not just Maria who’s under arrest. Press freedom is under arrest. Democracy is under arrest.