Human rights lawyer Amal Clooney to represent Rappler’s Ressa
MANILA, Philippines – International human rights lawyer Amal Clooney and another foreign barrister will lead an international legal team representing Rappler chief executive officer (CEO) Maria Ressa, who is facing several criminal cases including tax evasion and cyberlibel.
The Doughty Street Chambers law firm said Clooney and Caoilfhionn Gallagher QC, both specializing in international law and human rights, will lead the legal team that will work closely with counsels in the United States and the Philippines.
“Maria Ressa is a courageous journalist who is being persecuted for reporting the news and standing up to human rights abuses,” Clooney, wife of actor and filmmaker George Clooney, said in a press statement on Monday.
“We will pursue all available legal remedies to vindicate her rights and defend press freedom and the rule of law in the Philippines,” she added.
Clooney and Gallagher will work with barristers Can Yeginsu and Katherine O’Byrne, and also with US law firm Covington & Burling LLP, including Ambassador Daniel Feldman, Peter Lichtenbaum and Kurt Wimmer in Washington DC and Ressa’s domestic counsel.
Ressa said she is “delighted” that Clooney and her team will represent her on the international level “to challenge the violations” of her rights and the organization she represents.
“I have been targeted and attacked simply for being an independent journalist,” Ressa said in the same press release.
Ressa and her news organization are facing cyber libel and tax evasion charges.
She has posted bail eight times and has been arrested twice since 2018.
In 2015, Clooney filed a case before the United Nations over the detention of former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.
Clooney has also represented two Reuters journalists who were jailed for reporting on the Rohingya crisis in Myanmar.
Journalists Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo were freed from prison in May this year. (Editor: Gilbert S. Gaviola)