Vino Lucero

Pride 2020 perseveres despite the pandemic and threats to freedom of expression online

Amid physical and social distancing guidelines across the world, LGBTQI+ organisations faced roadblocks in fully celebrating this year’s Pride month in person. But despite only weeks of preparation for the fully digital shift, Pride Month this past June 2020 was a success, in that its celebration intersected LGBTIQ+ issues with other pressing societal issues and broke social media silos by reaching out to new audiences online.

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Maria A. Ressa, Chief Executive Officer, The Rappler, Philippines

The conviction of Maria Ressa: weaponising cyber libel to suppress freedom of speech

On June 15, 2020, online news organization Rappler’s CEO and executive editor Maria Ressa and former Rappler researcher-writer Reynaldo Santos Jr. were convicted of cyber libel charges over a seven-year-old report on a businessman’s alleged links to illegal drugs and human trafficking. The ruling, which can still be appealed and brought up to the Supreme Court, is the most recent addition to a growing list of attacks on press freedom and freedom of expression in the Philippines.

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