Philippine journalist Maria Ressa arrested on fraud charge

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Philippine journalist Maria Ressa was arrested Friday on a fraud charge, her second detention in what press freedom advocates have said is retaliation for her news site’s criticism of President Rodrigo Duterte.

The veteran reporter, named a Time Magazine Person of the Year in 2018 for her work, was taken into custody by authorities at Manila airport, said Beth Frondoso, a co-founder of Ressa’s website Rappler.

“They got her at the airport,” Frondoso told AFP. “We will be filing bail.”

Philippine authorities arrested Ressa in February on an internet libel charge, which sparked international condemnation and allegations that she was being targeted for Rappler’s critical stance on Duterte.

“This case against Ressa... is unprecedented and speaks volumes of the Duterte administration’s determination to shut the website down for its credible and consistent reporting on the government,” said Carlos Conde of Human Rights Watch.

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