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400 days of impunity

A banner made up of printouts of articles of journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia were placed on the barricade placed by the government surrounding the Great Siege monument in Valletta to mark 400 days since her assassination in a car bomb a few metres away from her home last year.

Two weeks ago, the government extended the area denying access to the public in the country’s capital.

People have continued to place flowers and candles at the site on almost a daily basis despite the wall blocking access to the public monument. Each time, the tributes placed have been removed.

Government workers were filmed by the Times of Malta removing the flowers, candles and messages in the dead of night.

In a statement following the UN’s Universal Periodic Review (UPR) of Malta last week, five leading international press freedom NGOs urged the Maltese government to accept and implement the UN recommendations on freedom of expression and strengthening and protecting journalists in Malta.

PEN International, Reporters Without Borders (RSF), the European Centre for Press and Media Freedom (ECPMF), the International Press Institute (IPI), and ARTICLE 19 said, “the lack of progress in the investigation into Caruana Galizia’s murder is a truly disturbing indicator of impunity.”

Reports last week that the masterminds behind the assassination have been identified were met with a mixture of incredulity and doubt, following several false alarms on the investigation and the the Prime Minister’s refusal to agree to an independent public inquiry.

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