Eight international freedom of expression organisations have urged EU diplomats in Malta to monitor the investigation of the murder of journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia and the related court proceedings and “collect evidence on whether they are being carried out in line with the best international standards.”
“Your engagement in this case is setting a standard and precedent for what is permissible in the European Union,” the European Centre for Press and Media Freedom, Article19, Committee to Protect Journalists, the European Federation of Journalists, Index on Censorship, PEN International, English PEN and Reporters without Borders said.
Pointing out that Caruana Galizia was investigating complex allegations of corruption, the organisations said “The killing of a journalist on European soil, likely in retaliation for investigative reporting is unacceptable.”
They said journalism should not be a dangerous profession right in the heart of the EU, adding that her murder signals the urgent need to strengthen the protection of journalists in the EU Member States and to document and promote accountability for violations of press freedom.
“Besides showing solidarity, we believe it is crucial to make clear that a case like this cannot be followed by impunity. We are continuing to watch the developments in Daphne Caruana Galizia’s case closely. Malta is a member state of the European Union. Daphne Caruana Galizia and her family are entitled to full justice,” they said.
Stressing that Maltese authorities have the responsibility to ensure that justice prevails, the organisations said EU diplomats have “the special responsibility to send a strong signal in support of media freedom and respect for human rights and democratic principles.”
“So far, the European institutions and member-states do not sufficiently monitor the court hearings in Malta. There have been concerns expressed by the victim’s family, journalists, and other civil society actors with regard to the independence and professionalism of the judicial and the prosecutorial system in Malta.”