Dart Centre Asia Pacific on Contempt Charge

May 26, 2011

The Dart Centre Asia Pacific supports calls for the immediate withdrawal of accusations of contempt by the Philippines Court of Appeals against our colleague Rowena Paraan and Maguindanao massacre widow Monette Salaysay.

The Dart Centre believes the contempt accusations appear to be an attempt to silence advocates, witnesses and families of the victims of the infamous massacre of November 23 2009, in which 58 people were murdered. It is also an attack on the rights, obligations and responsibilities of the Philippines media.

Rowena Paraan is the General Secretary of the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) and is a tireless champion for the safety and well-being of journalists in that country and elsewhere in the Asia-Pacific region, as well as for their right to do their jobs without fear or favour. Monette Salaysay’s husband Napoleon was among 32 journalists and media workers killed in the massacre.

The Dart Centre is concerned that the contempt petition comes at a time when there are continued reports of threats against the victims’ families in their quest for justice for their loved ones through this crucial court case.

It calls on the Philippines Court of Appeals to immediately drop its contempt petition and work to a speedy resolution of the trials of the massacre suspects.

The Dart Centre for Journalism and Trauma is dedicated to informed, effective and ethical news reporting on violence, conflict and tragedy. It advocates ethical and thorough reporting of trauma; compassionate, professional treatment of victims and survivors by journalists; and greater awareness by media organizations of the impact of trauma coverage on both news professionals and news consumers.


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