After an initial court order held back her travel by a day, the Court of Appeals has allowed Rappler founder and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Maria Ressa to travel to the United States to receive the Woodrow Wilson Award at Princeton University.
The Woodrow Wilson Award is awarded to Princeton alumni “whose career embodies the call to duty in Wilson’s speech, ‘Princeton in the Nation’s Service.'” Ressa graduated from Princeton in 1986.
Yesterday, Ressa tweeted that a court order issued only hours before her flight prevented her from landing at the John F. Kennedy Airport in New York City today.
(1/3) Not such a good morning 🙁 I should have landed in JFK a few hours ago for a short trip to receive an award from @Princeton Saturday. I received court approvals from 6 of 7 charges, but the 7th court order was released a few hours before I was supposed to get on the flight. pic.twitter.com/WhcBXgg63v— Maria Ressa (@mariaressa) February 16, 2022
(3/3) Here's one of the other approvals granted February 9. Such a contrast from what I received February 16. I suppose the upside is that I really have learned to appreciate rights I have taken for granted. #CourageON pic.twitter.com/KCi2XFKN0f— Maria Ressa (@mariaressa) February 16, 2022
Ressa confirmed that they had swiftly applied an urgent motion for reconsideration, which was granted the same day.
“The randomness is a mind game, but it doesn’t defeat me. Makes me more resolute to demand justice,” Ressa tweeted.
Ressa’s pending court cases of cyber libel compel her to file motions to travel. The Court of Appeals Special Seventh Division has noted that Ressa is not a “flight risk,” and has previously been able to travel abroad: she accepted the Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo in December as well as when she delivered a series of lectures at the Harvard Kennedy School in Boston.