“The recent visit and observations made by UNSR Khan have brought to light the unjust state of their prolonged detention, begging an immediate review and dismissal of the charges against them, should evidence be lacking,” the groups said.
Tags: Frenchie Mae Cumpio
“The whole concept of freedom of expression is to be able to say what you want even if it offends the other side. The government should encourage a greater culture of tolerance.” — Special Rapporteur on Free Expression and Opinion Irene Khan
“Frenchie used to lead the Eastern Vista, where is it now? They used to report the prices of basic commodities of Samar and how it affects the people. No one does that now. It is a big disservice to the poor in the region.”
“We are only int’l visitors so far allowed by #Philippines govt to visit them! Arrested in Feb 2020, trial still dragging on. How long must they wait to be free?!” – UN Special Rapporteur Irene Khan
“We are aghast when the DOJ said that it has sufficient mechanisms to address red-tagging. What are they talking about? Either these are nowhere to be found, or if these mechanisms indeed exist, are rendered useless for victims of rights violations.”
“We are calling on the office of UN Special Rapporteur Irene Khan to hear our demands. To help us free Frenchie Mae, to help us assert our press freedom, and to help us fight to express.”
In this story, Bulatlat highlights the story of women writers who are in detention for expressing their criticism and dissent through their craft.
Altermidya and the NUJP said Presidential Task Force on Media Security executive director Paulino Gutierrez’s attack against journalist Frenchie Mae Cumpio also proves the absurdity of his agency’s continued existence.
This is exactly what we mean by red-tagging: a senior government official linking civilians to alleged communist groups without proof. May we remind Mr. Gutierrez that Ms. Cumpio is contesting the charges filed against her in court and has yet to be convicted. There is absolutely no point for anyone, more so a high government official, to forget that “everyone is innocent until proven in a court of law.”
We must therefore never forget that contradiction in fighting back for freedom of expression today. Freedom of expression is not a privilege of those in power, but a weapon of the oppressed to safeguard against the abuse of power—whether economic, political, and social.
“We will continue to report, and we will continue to insist on being free.”