And in the Philippines, the nation’s highest court has ordered the government to release documents about thousands of deaths linked to President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs. Human rights groups say the release will shed light on extrajudicial killings that opposition lawmakers say have left 20,000 dead since Duterte took office in 2016.
This comes as award-winning journalist Maria Ressa pleaded not guilty Wednesday to charges of tax evasion, following her second arrest on what she says are bogus, politically motivated charges. Ressa is the founder of the independent news site Rappler and a vocal critic of President Duterte. She spoke to reporters just after her “not guilty” plea.
Maria Ressa: “I still say that these cases are all politically motivated. I mean, where in the world do you come home on a Friday, get arrested, post bail, and, on a Monday, get another arrest warrant and post bail again? I have been arrested twice in a little over a month, a month and a week or so, right? So, it’s clear, but we will fight every single one and hope for the integrity of the men and women who will handle these cases.”