Philippine American journalist Maria Ressa has been found guilty under a cybercrime law that carries up to six years in prison. It’s the first time Ressa has been convicted in several cases brought against her for alleged offenses that she has described as attempts to punish her online news outlet, Rappler, for reporting on the country’s strongman president Rodrigo Duterte. “It’s a blow to us but it’s also not unexpected considering that we are going to stand up against any kind of attacks against press freedom,” Ressa told reporters. “I appeal to you, the journalists in this room, the Filipinos who are listening, to protect your rights. We are meant to be a cautionary tale. We are meant to make you afraid.” The Philippine journalist was honored as one of Time’s 2018 Person of the Year winners. Duterte’s spokesman, Harry Roque, said the court ruling “should be respected” and denied that the government had curtailed press freedoms. Ressa will remain free while appealing the verdict.
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