The toxic price of impunity

The killing of journalists affects the whole of society because each one prevents the free circulation of information, as well as citizens’ expression of opinions and ideas, UNESCO said launching the campaign #TruthNeverDies.

The Shift News has joined UNESCO’s campaign to mark the International Day to End Impunity today, that pays tribute to slain journalists around the world and demands that justice be done. Keeping that voice alive means that truth will not die.

The percentage of women media professionals killed worldwide rose from 4% in 2012 to 14% in 2017, according to UNESCO.Maltese journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia was murdered when a bomb in her car exploded on October 16, 2017. Three months later, the government arrested three men who are facing charges for her murder. There is no sign of motive, and no sign of who commissioned her assassination. Caruana Galizia’s work consistently focused on political corruption at the highest levels of government.

On Thursday, her son Andrew Caruana Galizia joined the tribute organised by international press freedom organisation Reporters Without Borders – the Eiffel Tower was plunged into darkness in memory of journalists killed around the world.

The tribute was done in collaboration with Paris city hall, while in Malta the government continues to wipe out candles, flowers and tributes to the assassinated journalist at a public monument that has been boarded up for two months to deny citizens access to the protest memorial.

Andrew’s brother, Matthew, spoke of the “toxic price of impunity” in an interview with the European Centre for Press and Media Freedom. He described the year since her death as “one long day”.

“There is impunity for corruption and there is impunity for violence against people who denounce corruption. There were absolutely no repercussions for any of these people, absolutely none…the government’s response to criticism like this is that they are exercising their freedom of speech while celebrating her assassination,” Matthew said.

Prime Minister Joseph Muscat continues to deny the family’s request for a public inquiry that would look into the State’s responsibility in preventing the murder, and what could be done to prevent another happening.

On Thursday, Caruana Galizia received the first posthumous award of the Martin Adler Prize at this year’s Rory Peck Awards, which honours a freelancer who has made a significant contribution to news gathering. It tops the list of a number of awards she received in the year following her death.


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