The portrait of journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia, placed at the foot of the Great Siege monument in Valletta on Friday for a vigil organised to mark 22 months since her assassination, was thrown into a bin, photos by photojournalist Darrin Zammit Lupi show.
Zammit Lupi, who is the journalist’s cousin, posted a photo on Twitter showing a man taking the portrait placed by citizens at the protest memorial only a few hours earlier. He posed for a photo with the portrait together with another two men who are seen looking on.
They also tore up a poster calling for justice, one of a number placed by citizens as a tribute to the journalist who was killed in a car bomb a few metres away from her home on 16 October 2017.
“Sad lowlifes… first tore up a poster reading ‘Who would obstruct a public inquiry into a journalist’s assassination if they had nothing to hide? #JusticforDaphne'”, Zammit Lupi said, adding that the tourists present “looked on aghast”.
They then removed Daphne's portrait and posed for a picture as they chucked it into a nearby bin while giggling like fools. Tourists looked on aghast. Of course I immediately retrieved it and put it back in its place on the memorial.
— Darrin Zammit Lupi (@darrinzl) August 16, 2019
On Friday evening, civil society group Occupy Justice commemorated 22 months since Caruana Galizia’s assassination by unfurling a banner featuring an image of the journalist with the legend ‘Invicta’ at the protest memorial opposite the law courts in Valletta.
‘Invicta’ is the title of the book that is a tribute to her work, published in the weeks following her assassination, with contributions from journalists, experts, academics and friends. The banner is a reference to recent reports of a tattoo on the arm of Prime Minister Joseph Muscat interpreted as ‘Invictus’ (unconquerable) that led to controversy.
The banner set up on Friday referred to Caruana Galizia as “The Rightful Invicta”, saying “Impunitas” may have been more a more suitable tattoo for Malta’s Prime Minister.
“Over the years, Invictus has been appropriated by many a politician – good and bad, effective and insignificant, by those who left a mark, and others who left a stain,” Occupy Justice said in a statement.
“We will, of course, mention that it was most recently used by Malta’s Prime Minister, who chose to ink the word on his body, creating, for himself, perhaps, a permanent dose of self-praise, a pat on his own back, if you will. ‘Impunitas’ may have been more apt,” the group added.
The government has, on almost a daily basis, sent its employees to clear the protest memorial of messages, flowers and candles that continue to be placed there by citizens regularly since her death close to two years ago.