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Critical Filipino journalist convicted of libel

In the Philippines, the editor-in-chief of a critical news site has been found guilty of defamation. Maria Ressa may be imprisoned for six years.

The charges against Ressa date back to 2012, when an article appeared on news site Rappler linking a wealthy businessman to criminal activity and ties to a former judge. The law under which Ressa was charged came into effect four months after the article was published.

A former Rappler publicist has also been convicted and may face six years in prison. Both have been released on bail pending appeal, the BBC reports.

Politically motivated

Last year, Ressa was arrested twice in a short time. She herself said that the Philippine government is trying to intimidate her in this way. The news site Rappler is known for its critical attitude toward President Duterte.

Ressa has always dismissed the charges against her and claims that the trial of her politics is motivated. This is endorsed by human rights organizations such as Amnesty International.

In 2018, Ressa, along with the murdered Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, among others, was named Person of the Year by the American magazine Time.

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