Maria Ressa: Philippines court permits Peace Prize-winning journalist to go to Norway for Nobel

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Maria Ressa: Philippines court permits Peace Prize-winning journalist to go to Norway for Nobel
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Philippine journalist and Nobel Laureate Maria Ressa has been allowed to travel to Norway to receive her Nobel Peace award in person.

On Friday, a Philippine Court of Appeals granted Ms Ressa’s request to travel to receive the award on 10 December and noted that “she is not a flight risk”, reported Reuters.

The Norwegian Nobel committee is conducting an in-person award ceremony this year in Oslo.

On Monday, the United Nations had urged Philippines to allow Ms Ressa to travel to Norway to receive her award.

Ms Ressa, 58, who won the Nobel Peace prize along with the editor-in-chief of Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta, is subject to travel restrictions due to a string of legal cases that she is embroiled in.

She faces up to 100 years in prison and investigations for publishing stories critical of Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte.

Last year she was given a six-year prison term for a libel conviction. She is currently out on bail as she appeals the case. She is also facing five tax evasion charges and a corporate case with the regulator.

Her website Rappler, which was set up in 2012, has also had its license suspended.

The Philippines government has rejected claims of hounding critics in the country. It belatedly congratulated Ms Ressa on her win in October but denied that journalists are being muzzled.

While announcing her win, the Nobel committee noted Rappler and Ms Ressa’s work in shining the spotlight on Mr Duterte’s “controversial, murderous anti-drug campaign” in the Philippines.

It also lauded her efforts to uphold freedom of expression in Philippines.

Ms Ressa “uses freedom of expression to expose abuse of power, use of violence and growing authoritarianism in her native country, the Philippines,” it said.

She is the 18th woman to receive the Nobel Peace Prize in its 126-year-old history.

Only six per cent of Nobel Prizes have been awarded to women since 1901.

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