Two years after Daphne Caruana Galizia’s assassination, the world reacts

On the two-year anniversary of the assassination of Daphne Caruana Galizia, tributes and calls for justice have been pouring in from all over the world and in a number of languages. 

Journalists, activists, writers, political groups and international human rights and freedom of expression watchdogs have all paid tribute to her memory, commending her work and calling for justice.

PEN International set up a poetry memorial, compiling a selection of poems written for Caruana Galizia.

“Since authorities in Malta kept tearing down Daphne Caruana Galizia’s memorial, we’ve created a poetry memorial for her. Today marks two years since her murder, the masterminds behind her killing remain at large,” PEN International said.

Twelve media freedom organisations including Reporters Without Borders, ARTICLE 19, the Committee to Protect Journalists, the European Centre for Press and Media Freedom, various PENs and the International Press Institute, released a joint statement demanding an end to the impunity around the attack.

The organisations referred to a freedom of expression mission to Malta one year ago where they raised “profound concerns” about this case and the broader freedom of expression environment in Malta with the highest levels of government.

In their letter, they note how “the Maltese authorities have failed to address any of the serious concerns” or to implement recommendations to ensure justice for Caruana Galizia.

“Yet these unacceptable acts pale in comparison to the alarming attacks that have continued – and in some cases, escalated – against Daphne Caruana Galizia’s family, citizen journalists and activists who campaign for justice in the case, and professional journalists who continue to pursue public interest investigative reporting in Malta,” the organisations said.

They called on the Maltese government to “cease ad hominem attacks on PACE Special Rapporteur Pieter Omtzigt, to ensure that the inquiry into her assassination was “fully independent and impartial” and to “ensure that this is the very last anniversary that passes without full justice for Daphne Caruana Galizia.”

General Secretary of the European Federation of Journalists, Ricardo Gutierrez,  was among those calling for justice on the day marking two years since the journalist’s brutal assassination. The organisation was present at international vigils being held in different European cities.

The former President of the European Parliament, Antonio Tajani, spoke of the need to defend EU values during his speech at the launch of a photo exhibition in memory of Caruana Galizia titled ‘Daphne, The Voice That Lives On’ at the European Parliament in Brussels organised by PN MEP David Casa.

“If the EU wants to be credible in defence of our European values, we need to defend values inside the European Union,” he said. “We want to know who decided to kill Daphne Caruana Galizia.”

Tajani will be addressing citizens gathering in the country’s capital at 7pm today to renew the call for justice.

The new President of the European Parliament David Sassoli also issued a statement to mark two years since the journalist was brutally assassinated in a car bomb on 16 October 2017.  He said the European Parliament “must be the guardian of the values of Daphne Caruana Galizia”, adding that he was concerned about a general decline in press freedom and citizens’ rights.

“It is worrying to think that in the 21st century there is still a need for warnings to defend the rights and freedoms of citizens: these are the foundation of our European values and must be recognised and fought for on a daily basis,” Sassoli said. “It is never acceptable to die because you are doing your job”.


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