Court OKs Maria Ressa’s Norway trip for Nobel Peace Prize awarding

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, December 3)— The Court of Appeals (CA) has allowed journalist Maria Ressa to attend the Nobel Peace Prize awarding in Norway this month.

In a decision released Friday, the CA said the Rappler CEO’s planned trip to Oslo to personally receive the coveted award on Dec. 10 is “necessary and urgent.”

“Under the circumstances, Ressa cannot just utilize any available technological application, and the necessity of her presence at the Nobel Peace Prize Award Ceromony is reasonably explained. In fact, there is no option for her to virtually receive the award, or through a representative,” the document read.

The Office of the Solicitor General earlier tried to block Ressa’s travel bid, noting there was “no necessity and urgency” for her to personally claim the award. It also called her a “flight risk” and cited her previous cyber libel cases.

The court, however, did not agree with the statement.

“Considering that Ressa has proved that her intended travel is necessary and urgent, and she is not a flight risk, there is no reason to deny the urgent motion to travel abroad,” CA noted.

It added that Ressa has submitted a confirmed itinerary — showing that she “intends to immediately return” after the ceremonies.

Ressa is the first Filipino to receive the award and the first woman to be awarded a Nobel Prize this year. Her co-winner, Dmitry Muratov, heads the independent Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta.

READ: ‘A win for press freedom’: World leaders, groups laud Maria Ressa’s Nobel Peace Prize win