Four months since the assassination of journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia, the day was again marked with banners appearing on Malta’s roads with the question: “Who killed Daphne?”
The same message was projected onto the façade of the Prime Minister’s Office by Il-Kenniesa on 1 February as civil society continues to demand justice after the brutal murder of Caruana Galizia.
A candlelight vigil was also held at 6.30 pm at her memorial at the Great Siege monument in Valletta. This event was organised by the Civil Society Network – Malta, l-Awturi, il-Kenniesa and #OccupyJustice. The public is invited to attend.
“When Justice is denied, we must demand it,” the activists said.
The memorial was the subject of controversy this month, mostly spurred by members of the Labour Party in government, including Valletta 2018 chairman Jason Micallef who said he would do everything in his power to ensure the memorial was removed.
He said the memorial was causing damage to the monument and called on the organisation dedicated to protecting Malta’s historical and cultural heritage – Din l-Art Helwa – to take a stand. The organisation – which restored the monument in 2010 – did take a stand, telling Micallef he was wrong.
Things escalated after a woman appeared to take matters into her own hands and seemed to be clearing up the site.
Following a motion presented by Labour Party councillor Ray Azzopardi to have the memorial removed, the Valletta Local Council held a rowdy meeting on Tuesday to debate the matter. A video was published on Facebook by former Valletta Mayor Paul Borg Olivier showing one of the participants shouting, “Labour forever”.
Fil-Kunsill “ma jikbrux fjuri”…!!! Jikbru mal-Monument tal-Assesju..! Waqt il-laqgha tal-kunsill lokali, Valletta. Mozzjoni “irrelevanti” mhux taht il-funzjoni tal-kunsill…(johnny “Elvis” Bonaci)
Posted by Paul Borg Olivier on Dienstag, 13. Februar 2018
Valletta mayor Alexiei Dingli ruled that the motion to remove the memorial to the slain journalist was inadmissable, as the council had no jurisdiction over the Great Siege memorial. The family of the slain journalist were present at the meeting.
Photos, candles and flowers have been piling up against the Great Siege monument opposite the law courts since last October as a form of protest, with calls for justice. Despite an ongoing court case in which three known criminals were arraigned for her murder, the mastermind remains at large.
The Civil Society Network is in the process of formally applying for a memorial to Caruana Galizia in Great Siege Square.
In the morning, photos of former Labour Prime Minister Dom Mintoff, Raymond Caruana, gunned down in 1986, and Karin Grech, murdered in 1977, were placed on Daphne’s memorial.
Caruana’s nephew, Stefan Caruana, expressed the family’s anger at the fact that his photo was put next to others at the journalist’s memorial. In a Facebook post, he said it was shameless for his uncle, gunned down in 1986, to be used to make a point.
He said it was shameful that his uncle’s photo put alongside that of somebody who had “for many years ignored the violent political elements” which had led to his death, in reference Mintoff. He said the Caruana family had suffered as much as Caruana Galizia’s and the Grech family and appealed to people to be brave.
Lawyer Jacques Rene Zammit added on FB: “If memorials are reminders, then this sabotage is just an open window on the sick minds in our society”.
In a case of real life imitating art, four months to the day of the assassination of the journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia, the activist group #OccupyJustice put up three billboards in central Malta – along Regional Road and the Coast Road – with pointed messages directed at the country’s Prime Minister.
In the Oscar-nominated movie Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, an anguished mother seeks justice for her murdered daughter. After months pass without the culprit being caught, the mother makes a bold move, and puts up three billboards on a main motorway, with pointed messages directed at the town’s revered Chief of Police.
The three billboards, all black on red – in the same style as the Hollywood movie, carry the messages: “A JOURNALIST KILLED. NO JUSTICE.”; “A COUNTRY ROBBED. NO JUSTICE.”; “NO RESIGNATIONS. NO JUSTICE.”
“We were inspired by the film, because with the Maltese government’s disregard for the rule of law, living in Malta at the moment is pretty much like living in a mafia movie”, said #OccupyJustice, an activist group led by women.