Daphne Caruana Galizia in ‘Top 10’ list of cases of injustice against journalists

The One Free Press Coalition has listed the assassintation of Daphne Caruana Galizia as one of its Top 10 most urgent cases of injustice against journalists.

The Coalition was created during a meeting of the International Media Council at the World Economic Forum. The idea was to bring together top editors from leading media organisations and get them to “use their collective muscle” to “shine a massive light on the plight of threatened journalists all over the world”. 

Members include The Associated Press, Bloomberg, Deutsche Welle, Forbes, Reuters, TIME, Voice of America, The Washington Post and Yahoo News.

Each month they release a list of 10 journalists that are incarcerated, under threat or facing injustice. The list, which is ranked in order of perceived urgency, includes new and recurring names in the hope of maintaining pressure through sustained campaigns.

Caruana Galizia’s murder ranks at number seven: “No progress in murder of investigative journalist.”

She is described as the “Panama Papers investigative reporter” on whose assassination there has been “little movement” and “the perpetrators remain at large”.

The three men arrested for placing and detonating the bomb are set to be released on bail in a month if no indictment is filed by the Attorney General. Brothers Alfred and George Degiorgio, along with Vince Muscat, were arrested 50 days after her murder but they are yet to be charged despite Magistrate Claire Stafrace Zammit ruling there was sufficient evidence to indict them.  Without an indictment, the presumption of innocence prevents any person from being held against their will for more than 20 months.

The Maltese government has also refused to launch a public inquiry into the circumstances of her assassination despite calls from the European Parliament, the Council of Europe, the United Nations, and many international human rights and media freedom organisations. An online tracker launched last week counts down the days to the three-month deadline set for the launch of an independent public inquiry in the report by the Special Rapporteur for the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe.

The One Free Press Coalition list also includes Saudi Arabian journalist Jamal Khashoggi. He disappeared after entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkey, on 2 October 2018. A recent UN report accuses the Crown Prince of his involvement, yet no independent investigation has been conducted.

Other names on July’s list include journalists from some of the world’s most oppressive countries. Marzieh Amiri from Iran was arrested after covering demonstrations in the country, Wei Zhili from China was arrested for reporting on labour rights, and Stanislav Aseyev from the Ukraine disappeared two years ago before he turned up in prison, held on dubious charges of espionage.  Seyoum Tsehay, from the “Pariah State” of Eritrea, is serving 20 years behind bars following a government ban on privately owned media.


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