Philippines classify Nobel Prize winner Maria Ressa as a flight risk and oppose her going to Oslo

Lawyers from the government of the Philippines have in court documents classified Nobel Peace Prize winner Maria Ressa as “a flight risk’ and therefore opposed her traveling to Oslo, Norway next month to receive her Nobel Prize Award in person, CNN Philippines reports.

Maria Ressa is a former CNN correspondent and co-founder of the news site Rappler. She is currently on bail pending an appeal against a conviction last year in a cyber libel case but after her Nobel prize Win in October she has applied for court approval to travel to Norway for the ceremony on 10 December.

Maria Ressa was awarded the Nobel prize in October for her efforts to “safeguard freedom of expression” together with Russian journalist Dmitry Muratov. 

According to the Office of the Solicitor General, there is “no necessity and urgency” for Maria Ressa to personally claim the Nobel Peace Prize in Norway in December. OSG said the letter from the Norwegian Nobel Institute is a “mere invitation” and “admittedly, there are alternative means by which accused-appellant Ressa may participate in the enumerated events, such as through videoconferencing and other technological applications,” OSG said.

A ruling by the Court of Appeals is pending.

Maria Ressa is also a US citizen and currently, she is in the United States after receiving court approval to travel there from October 31 to Dec. 2 to participate in a series of lectures while also visiting her parents. 

The Nobel Institute said it was a “disgrace for any nation not to release its citizens to travel to Oslo to receive the Nobel Peace Prize”, CNN Philippines writes. 

About Gregers Møller

Editor-in-Chief • ScandAsia Publishing Co., Ltd. • Bangkok, Thailand

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