‘Pandemic or not, we will never stop’ – international NGOs’ call for justice

A number of International Press Freedom organisations started their day on Thursday by paying tribute to Maltese journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia who was assassinated two and a half years ago.

On Twitter, the organisations renewed their stand for justice, 30 months after the investigative journalist was brutally killed in a car bomb on 16 October 2017.

“The world is watching and waiting for everyone involved in her death – ordering it, carrying it out, hindering the investigation – to be brought to justice,” IFEX wrote, a sentiment shared by other organisations including Article19 and the European Centre for Press and Media Freedom (ECPMF), that said justice cannot be delayed.

Reporters Without Borders stressed the same point, saying “pandemic or not, we will never stop fighting to bring every person involved in every aspect of this attack to full justice”.

Index on Censorship Deputy Editor Jemimah Stanfield said that while the upcoming Index on Censorship awards will celebrate those alive fighting for free speech, she will spend ”a moment of reflection for those who died for it”.

Index on Censorship said in a tweet that until justice was achieved, voices must continue to be raised. “It’s very easy to see Daphne as just a name, but remember this was a real person with likes, interests, passions and ambitions. She was a daughter, sister, wife, mother, friend, colleague,” the London-based organisation said.

Scottish PEN said that Caruana Galizia “championed the principles of transparency, accountability and openness in her work as an investigative journalist in Malta”.  Justice was still needed, the organisation said, a point stressed by PEN International.

A tribute to Caruana Galizia organised by civil society group Repubblika and Occupy Justice will be held virtually tonight at 7.30pm.

Caruana Galizia was murdered on 16 October 2017 by a car bomb that detonated just a few metres away from her family home. An independent public inquiry into her death, stalled for two years by the government, has ground to a halt during the pandemic.

In November 2019, Yorgen Fenech was arrested and charged with being the mastermind behind the murder and is currently undergoing court proceedings. He has denied the charges. Middleman Melvin Theuma was granted a presidential pardon to provide State evidence.

Testimonies during the various proceedings in court have revealed links to the top levels of government, including former Prime Minister Joseph Muscat and his Chief of Staff Keith Schembri.

Brothers Alfred Degiorgio, George Degiorgio as well as Vince Muscat, are charged with planting the bomb that killed her.

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