Five international press freedom organisations have stressed their commitment to “press for the need for full criminal justice for Daphne Caruana Galizia’s assassination” as well as the “implementation of the recommendations of the landmark public inquiry report”.
Reporters Without Borders (RSF), ARTICLE 19, the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), the European Centre for Press and Media Freedom (ECPMF) and the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) are in Malta on the fourth anniversary of the assassination of Daphne Caruana Galizia today.
“We have come together once again to mark the occasion and remember Caruana Galizia’s life, work and courage, and to raise our concerns on the case and the broader press freedom climate in the country directly with the Maltese authorities,” the organisations said in a statement.
The statement also gives a summary of a meeting held between representatives of the press freedom organisations and Prime Minister Robert Abela, Home Affairs minister Byron Camilleri, Housing Minister Roderick Galdes and backbencher MP Jonathan Attard on the eve of the anniversary, reporting that Abela “reaffirmed his commitment” to the implementation of the public inquiry’s findings.
The organisations particularly emphasised that a Commission of Experts to oversee the implementation of the recommendations published by the public inquiry board which clearly outlined the State’s role and its failure to prevent or adequately investigate Caruana Galizia’s murder must be a “fully independent” entity.
“The terms of reference of this Commission must meet international standards, and the composition of the Commission must reflect expertise in the role of the press in a democracy needed to effectively undertake the full scope of responsibilities,” the statement adds.
The Council of Europe’s Commissioner for Human Rights, Dunja Mijatović, also paid tribute to Daphne Caruana Galizia at the end of her visit to Malta this week, stating that she was “a courageous woman and a brilliant journalist” and that her assassination “concerns us all”.
Mijatović also spoke of the importance of the full implementation of the inquiry’s findings and the identification and prosecution of anyone responsible for Caruana Galizia’s assassination.
“The rule of law must prevail over might. This means implementing long-due reforms and ensuring that no impunity is tolerated,” Mijatović added, further arguing that Caruana Galizia’s murder represents a direct attack on democracy in Malta and beyond.
The press freedom organisations also expressed their hopes that the implementation of the inquiry’s findings would “represent a true turning point for the country” and “an important opportunity for Malta to begin repairing the damage to its press freedom climate and international image”.
RSF, ARTICLE 19, CPJ and ECPMF are all nonprofit organisations that are at the forefront of the fight to support journalism across the globe, focusing in particular on hostile media climates and the overall safety and well-being of journalists. The EFJ is the European branch of the International Federation of Journalists, a collective of trade union bodies representing hundreds of thousands of journalists across the world.