By Rebecca Vincent, UK Bureau Director for Reporters Without Borders, known internationally as Reporters sans Frontières (RSF), which works to promote and defend press freedom around the world.
On the eve of the anniversary of the horrific assassination of investigative journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia, Reporters Without Borders has returned to Malta as part of a delegation of six international press freedom and free expression organisations.
Our delegation also includes the Committee to Protect Journalists, the European Centre for Press and Media Freedom, the European Federation of Journalists, the International Press Institute, and PEN International.
We are here first and foremost to renew calls for justice for Daphne. A full year after her murder, those accused of carrying out the attack have still not been brought to trial, and there appears to have been no tangible progress towards identifying the masterminds who ordered her assassination.
Anything short of every single person involved in the planning, facilitating, and carrying out of the attack being identified and prosecuted to the full extent of the law cannot be considered justice, and would leave the door open to further attacks on journalists in Malta and beyond.
As part of this call for justice, we are supporting the Caruana Galizia family’s call to establish a public inquiry into whether Daphne’s assassination could have been prevented. This is an essential step both in the pursuit of justice for Daphne, and in ensuring the protection of journalists and anti-corruption campaigners in Malta.
We are also here to examine the broader freedom of expression situation in the country. Caruana Galizia’s murder has shed light on an extremely worrying underlying climate that left her at risk and that continues to make it unsafe for journalists to pursue the same type of public interest investigative reporting that she did.
We will be raising our concerns in meetings with Prime Minister Joseph Muscat, Justice Minister Owen Bonnici, Attorney General Peter Grech, and others, and publishing a joint statement of findings at the end of our mission.
Finally, we are here to show solidarity with local civil society. For every person that will gather in Valletta on the 16th, there are hundreds, if not thousands of us abroad who support your calls for justice for Daphne and for broader reforms to ensure that this cannot happen to anyone else, ever again.
Our six organisations will be with you in Valletta, and our colleagues will join Maltese communities to honour Caruana Galizia’s memory in a number of other cities, including London, Paris, Berlin, and Brussels.
Our message is this: we are with you. You are not alone, and we will not forget. We will not stop fighting until there is full justice for Daphne and concrete steps taken to ensure the safety of journalists in Malta, broader Europe, and internationally.
Those who wish to use violence to silence critical reporting must no longer be allowed to get away with it. We must put a stop to this vicious cycle of violence and impunity – starting by achieving real, full justice for Daphne Caruana Galizia.