Philippine journalist Maria Ressa (C) arrives at a regional trial court in Manila to post bail on February 14, 2019. - Ressa was freed on bail on February 14 following an arrest that sparked international censure and allegations she is being targeted over her news site's criticism of President Rodrigo Duterte. (Photo by Noel CELIS / AFP)        (Photo credit should read NOEL CELIS/AFP/Getty Images)
PHOTO: NOEL CELIS/AFP/AFP/Getty Images
Philippine journalist Maria Ressa (C) arrives at a regional trial court in Manila to post bail on February 14, 2019. - Ressa was freed on bail on February 14 following an arrest that sparked international censure and allegations she is being targeted over her news site's criticism of President Rodrigo Duterte. (Photo by Noel CELIS / AFP) (Photo credit should read NOEL CELIS/AFP/Getty Images)
Now playing
05:56
Journalists in Philippines face growing harassment
Pope Francis meets with Iraq's leading Shiite cleric, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani in Najaf, Iraq, Saturday, March 6, 2021. The closed-door meeting was expected to touch on issues plaguing Iraq's Christian minority. Al-Sistani is a deeply revered figure in Shiite-majority Iraq and and his opinions on religious matters are sought by Shiites worldwide.
PHOTO: Vatican Media/AP
Pope Francis meets with Iraq's leading Shiite cleric, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani in Najaf, Iraq, Saturday, March 6, 2021. The closed-door meeting was expected to touch on issues plaguing Iraq's Christian minority. Al-Sistani is a deeply revered figure in Shiite-majority Iraq and and his opinions on religious matters are sought by Shiites worldwide.
Now playing
01:42
Pope Francis holds historic meeting with revered Shia cleric
PHOTO: CNN
Now playing
02:30
Behind the scenes as Pope makes historic trip to Iraq
dr sasa
PHOTO: CNN
dr sasa
Now playing
01:32
Myanmar envoy to UN: It seems like they have a license to kill
meghan markle oprah entrevista harry esposa acusa familia real acoso mentiras inhs lkl max foster_00002717.png
PHOTO: cbs
meghan markle oprah entrevista harry esposa acusa familia real acoso mentiras inhs lkl max foster_00002717.png
Now playing
03:33
CBS releases another teaser for Meghan and Harry's Oprah interview
Now playing
03:49
He feared for his life in Nicaragua. Under Biden's new policy, he's safe in the US
screenshot myanmar funeral on streets
PHOTO: Reuters
screenshot myanmar funeral on streets
Now playing
02:26
Shocking images emerge from Myanmar as military cracks down
Screengrab of Our lady of Salvation Church in Baghdad, Iraq from Ben Wedeman's pkg
PHOTO: CNN
Screengrab of Our lady of Salvation Church in Baghdad, Iraq from Ben Wedeman's pkg
Now playing
03:04
CNN revisits church where massacre occurred ahead of Pope's visit
screengrab Japan oldest woman Olympics torchbearer Kane Tanaka
PHOTO: Source: Kane Tanaka
screengrab Japan oldest woman Olympics torchbearer Kane Tanaka
Now playing
02:43
This 118-year-old woman is set to break Olympic record
Sergey Aleksashenko
PHOTO: CNN
Sergey Aleksashenko
Now playing
01:15
Navalny ally: Of course I'm scared but I cannot hide myself
A split of a Muslim religious leader and the Archbishop of Westminster being interviewed by CNN's Becky Anderson.
PHOTO: CNN
A split of a Muslim religious leader and the Archbishop of Westminster being interviewed by CNN's Becky Anderson.
Now playing
02:14
Pope's Iraq visit is risky. 2 religious leaders explain why it's key
Middle east Iraq Christians pope francis Wedeman pkg intl hnk vpx_00000823.png
Middle east Iraq Christians pope francis Wedeman pkg intl hnk vpx_00000823.png
Now playing
03:44
What's behind the mass exodus of Christians from Iraq?
Screengrab for Paula Hancocks live segment on Myanmar
PHOTO: Twitter
Screengrab for Paula Hancocks live segment on Myanmar
Now playing
03:13
Video shows dramatic escalation of violence in Myanmar
Now playing
03:24
Author describes what happened when ISIS underestimated women fighters
FILE- In this Nov. 7, 2019 file photo, the International Criminal Court, or ICC, is seen in The Hague, Netherlands. The Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court said Wednesday, March 3, 2021 that she has launched an investigation into alleged crimes in the Palestinian territories. Fatou Bensouda said in a statement the probe will be conducted "independently, impartially and objectively, without fear or favor."(AP Photo/Peter Dejong, File)
PHOTO: Peter Dejong/AP
FILE- In this Nov. 7, 2019 file photo, the International Criminal Court, or ICC, is seen in The Hague, Netherlands. The Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court said Wednesday, March 3, 2021 that she has launched an investigation into alleged crimes in the Palestinian territories. Fatou Bensouda said in a statement the probe will be conducted "independently, impartially and objectively, without fear or favor."(AP Photo/Peter Dejong, File)
Now playing
01:57
ICC to investigate alleged war crimes by Israel and Hamas
Attorney-General Christian Porter speaks during a media conference on March 03, 2021 in Perth, Australia. Attorney-General Christian Porter has publicly confirmed he is the cabinet minister named in a historical rape allegation from 1988 which came to light in the last week and has emphatically denied the allegations.
PHOTO: Paul Kane/Getty Images
Attorney-General Christian Porter speaks during a media conference on March 03, 2021 in Perth, Australia. Attorney-General Christian Porter has publicly confirmed he is the cabinet minister named in a historical rape allegation from 1988 which came to light in the last week and has emphatically denied the allegations.
Now playing
02:25
Australian Attorney General denies historical rape allegation
(CNN) —  

International human rights lawyers Amal Clooney and Caoilfhionn Gallagher QC will lead a legal team representing Maria Ressa, the award-winning Philippines journalist who has been repeatedly arrested this year on charges that critics say are designed to silence her.

“It is clear that the government is manipulating the law to muzzle and intimidate one of its most credible media critics,” said the Committee to Protect Journalists after her arrest in March.

“Maria Ressa is a courageous journalist who is being persecuted for reporting the news and standing up to human rights abuses. We will pursue all available legal remedies to vindicate her rights and defend press freedom and the rule of law in the Philippines,” Clooney said in a press statement released by London-based law firm Doughty Street Chambers announcing the relationship.

Ressa is the cofounder and editor of online news site Rappler, which has gained prominence for its unflinching coverage of Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte and his brutal war on drugs. She has been indicted multiple times on libel and tax evasion charges that critics have described as designed to silence independent media in the southeast Asian country. She worked for CNN before starting Rappler.

In an op-ed published this year by Columbia Journalism Review, Ressa accused Duterte of leading a systematic campaign against news organizations in the Philippines, and against herself personally.

“Legal hassles can take up 90 percent of my time; a day after our May midterm elections, I was arraigned for cyber libel in the morning and appeared for a case of securities fraud in the afternoon,” she wrote.

After being arrested on cyber libel charges in February, she told CNN it was an example of how the law is being “weaponized” against critics of the country’s president. Speaking to CNN’s Kristie Lu Stout, Ressa said the law was “draining … democracy dry.”

Ressa had been charged with a lawsuit relating to a story written in 2012, which alleged that businessman Wilfredo Keng had links to illegal drugs and human trafficking. However, the article was published by Rappler two years before the new cyber libel laws came into effect in the Philippines.

In March, she was detained at Manila airport and later charged with violating the anti-dummy law, legislation related to securities fraud.

Clooney has previously represented Reuters reporters Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo, who were jailed in Myanmar under the country’s Official Secrets Act for reporting on a massacre of Rohingya civilians. The Pulitzer Prize-winning pair were released in May.