The Philippines’ Court of Appeals has allowed Filipino journalist Maria Ressa to travel to Oslo, Norway, to personally accept her Nobel Peace Prize for 2021.
In a resolution released on Friday, December 3, the court granted Ressa’s motion to travel in time for the ceremony on December 10.
The court ruled that the travel for a Nobel Prize was “necessary and urgent,” adding that Ressa “cannot just utilize any available technological application, and the necessity of her presence at the Nobel Peace Prize Award Ceremony.”
“In fact, there is no option, for her to virtually receive the award, or through a representative,” read the court resolution.
The appellate court allowed Ressa to stay in Oslo for five days, from December 8 to December 13.
The journalist had to get the authorization from the court due to pending charges filed against her, including a cyberlibel conviction on appeal.
The government has earlier tried to block Ressa’s travel, alleging that her statements “against” the Philippine justice system make her a flight risk.
The appellate court, however, said Ressa is not a flight risk. “Any allegation that Ressa would be absconding is merely speculative at this moment,” read the court’s resolution.
The former CNN correspondent and publisher of Rapple is on bail pending an appeal against a conviction last year in a cyber libel case.
Ressa has been a staunch critic of President Rodrigo Duterte and his government’s policies, including a drug war that has killed thousands.
Since Duterte was swept to power in 2016, Ressa and Rappler have endured what media advocates say is a grinding series of criminal charges, investigations and online attacks.
She faces a total of seven court cases, including the appeal against a conviction in the cyber libel case, for which she faces up to six years in prison.