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Government clears memorial (again) and puts up its own banner

The makeshift memorial for murdered jour

In what has become a ridiculous show of force and an unacceptable suppression of freedom of expression, the government has yet again cleared the memorial for assassinated journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia and put up another banner in its place.

The last time the banner calling for justice, as well as the candles and flowers laid at the walls barricading the monument, were cleared was only yesterday. And again, the work on the clearance was done in the dead of night.

Every time the government has cleared the memorial, citizens have returned and placed fresh flowers, candles and messages.

The monument was blocked off with wooden boards last week, with Justice and Culture Minister Owen Bonnici saying “restoration is to start immediately”. The Shift reported on Sunday that no work has as yet started on what was supposed to be an urgent restoration.

PN MEP David Casa reacted immediately to the latest move by the government on Wednesday, saying: “Freedom of expression is well and truly buried”.

It was the third time since Saturday that the Caruana Galizia memorial was removed – totalling, 20 times in 11 months.

National mechanisms for journalist safety not enough – Press Emblem Campaign

Government’s actions ‘shameful and reprehensible’ – Human Rights NGO