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December 3, 2021, 11.31 PM - The news website Rappler announced on Friday, November 3 that the Philippines Court of Appeals would allow its CEO, Maria Ressa, to visit the Norwegian capital, Oslo, to personally accept her Nobel Peace Prize for 2021.

Ressa, who is under travel restrictions because of the legal cases she faces in the Philippines, was jointly awarded the prize in an effort to “safeguard freedom of expression.”

What did the court decide?

Rappler said that the court’s three judges had ruled that the travel for a Nobel Prize was “necessary and urgent.”

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That decision deviates from previous rulings that Ressa was not allowed to travel abroad for journalism awards, the screening of a documentary, and a visit to her sick mother.

“Under the circumstances, Ressa cannot just utilize any available technological application, and the necessity of her presence at the Nobel Peace Prize Award Ceremony is reasonably explained,” Rappler reported the judges as saying.

“In fact, there is no option, for her to virtually receive the award, or through a representative,” said the resolution.

The court rejected government lawyers’ claims that Ressa, who returned to the Philippines on Thursday after a court-approved trip to the United States, was a “flight risk.”

Ressa is on bail pending an appeal against a conviction last year in a cyber libel case. For that alleged offense, she faces up to six years in prison. Rappler’s license has been suspended and Ressa faces legal action for various reasons.


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