A strong society needs free, unshackled journalists

A strong society needs transparency and freedom of information where journalists are not censored or live in fear of retaliation, according to the Archbishop’s delegate David Cilia.

In his homily to mark the one-year anniversary of Caruana Galizia’s death, Rev. Can. Cilia pointed out that it is in the interest of a strong society, that respects democracy and the separation of powers, “that transparency reigns in political issues, that information is allowed to circulate freely, that journalists are truly unshackled, are truly free, not only because they have not been silenced like Daphne Caruana Galizia, but because they are not persecuted or living in fear of retaliation”.

While addressing a packed congregation in Valletta’s St Francis Church, he said that Maltese society deserved better but would have what it permitted. “This is the reason why it is imperative that the cry for justice and truth must not be muzzled before answers are found”.

Addressing the family of Caruana Galizia, he said their dignity in the face of such brutality and ongoing callousness and cruelty was very humbling and a lesson to all.

“You have been denied the presence and affection of your loved one. You have been denied by a cruel hand from the embrace of your beloved daughter, mother, sister, niece. This is a great injustice!”

Cilia referred to the constant efforts for truth and justice made by her family and friends and all those who marked the anniversary of her death every 16th of the month where “we repeatedly ask this question: “Who killed Daphne?” These innocuous candles and flowers have become a sign of irritation to those who do not want this question to be answered!”

He renewed the Archbishop’s heartfelt appeal that was directly addressed to those responsible for her murder during her funeral and emphasised the importance of repentance. “However hard you try to evade from the justice of men, you will never escape from the justice of God. Repent before it is too late”.

He also had high praise for Daphne’s sons, saying their dignity and tireless work clearly reflected an appeal made to them by the Archbishop who urged them to be “children of the light” even after their mother had been brutally murdered.

Daphne was the first journalist to have been murdered in the EU, followed by Jan Kuciak and his girlfriend and only recently Viktoria Marinova. “I hope that we are not the last to see that justice is served for justice and truth re-establish balance in society,” he said.

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