|ONLINE ZOOM EVENT|
What’s Next After the Guilty Verdict? A Conversation with
Maria Ressa and Human Rights Lawyer, Caoilfhionn Gallagher
A judge in Manila on June 15 handed down six-year jail sentences to Rappler executive editor Maria Ressa and researcher Reynaldo Santos for cyber libel, provoking an international outcry over the implications for press freedom in the Philippines. The guilty verdicts came just over a month after the government shut down the country’s biggest broadcaster, ABS-CBN, in what was seen as a move by the government of President Rodrigo Duterte to stifle critical media coverage.
Ressa has vowed to fight her conviction all the way to the country’s Supreme court in a case that has become a symbol of the global battle to preserve press freedom. Joel Simon, executive director of the Committee to Protect Journalists, said at a recent FCC event that “if we cannot keep Maria Ressa out of prison, then every tyrant and every repressive government will feel that they can act against journalists without consequence”. Ressa is being supported by an international team of lawyers led by Caoilfhionn Gallagher and the Lebanese-British lawyer, Amal Clooney. In this discussion, Gallagher will explain the role of the defence team and will speak about her role as an international human rights lawyer.
Maria Ressa is the CEO and Executive Editor of Rappler.com. She has been honoured around the world for her work in fighting disinformation, “fake news” and attempts to silence the free press. In 2018, she was named Time Magazine’s “Person of the Year” and won the prestigious Golden Pen of Freedom Award from the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (WAN-INFRA), among others. She has been a journalist in Asia for more than 30 years.
Caoilfhionn Gallagher, QC, leads the international counsel team for Maria Ressa, with Amal Clooney. She has acted in many landmark human rights cases in the UK, before the European Court of Human Rights and UN bodies, and she has particular expertise in media defence work, acting for journalists, bloggers and media organisations at risk due to their work. Her cases include acting for the family of journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia, assassinated in Malta, and for BBC Persian journalists subjected to harassment by Iran. She is a Queen’s Counsel and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.
|This online event is free of charge and open to FCC members, their guests and the media, and advance registration is required. Registered guests will receive the Zoom link, meeting ID and password the day before the event. Members can test this link immediately. A waiting room will be opened two hours before the start of the event.|
Speaker: Maria Ressa Founder, CEO Rappler.com; Caoilfhionn Gallagher, QC Barrister specialising in human rights and civil liberties,