Lawyer Therese Commodini Cachia has sent a letter to Prime Minister Robert Abela and Police Commissioner Angelo Gafa on behalf of Repubblika President Robert Aquilina, urging them to provide adequate protection for Aquilina and his family.
In her letter, Comodini Cachia outlines Aquilina’s work and his activism and reminds the Prime Minister and Police Commissioner that Aquilina’s publications and activism are protected by Article 10, the right to freedom of expression, and Article 11, the right to freedom of association, of the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, which are enshrined in Maltese domestic law.
Comodini Cachia also underscores that the State has an obligation not only to refrain from interfering with the effective and genuine exercise of these freedoms but also to take positive measures to protect them.
These same obligations are reflected in several resolutions adopted by the various bodies of the Council of Europe, of which Malta is a member.
Referring to the report of the Public Inquiry into the assassination of Daphne Caruana Galizia, she describes how the report identified the failure of the state to recognise the combination of the hostile, dehumanising and intimidating environment against Daphne Caruana Galizia, which was aimed at “her for her publications on matters of corruption, financial crime, and impunity, in a highly polarised political culture which exposed her to such risks against which the public authorities ought to have acted”.
Comodini Cachia goes on to describe how a similar environment is being fostered against Aquilina.
Aquilina’s work has been dismissed or denigrated in political activities, sometimes even by public figures. She also underlined how the harassment and dehumanisation of Aquilina are constantly taking place on media platforms, including social media, to isolate him and portray him as an enemy or traitor.
Comodini Chachia also wrote that several police officers had shared their concern for Aquilina’s safety and that his wife and children had been the target of threatening letters, including one from a non-Maltese person that “they would see to Dr Aquilina themselves after a third person refused to inform him that he should back down.”
In her letter, the lawyer concludes that “the authorities would only be willing to protect Dr Aquilina only when the knife is already metaphorically at his throat”.
She adds that “this shows that the authorities, including the Executive and the Malta Police Force, are completely disregarding the combination of the polarised political context, and that of organised crime against which his activism and publications strive, thereby underestimating their obligations in providing such protection as is needed for him to exercise his freedom of expression without fear, threats, and harassment, as required by law”.
The full letter can be read here.
going down Sa Maison, I noticed two bodyguards near the office(stolen from the maltese) of the most corrupt pm Malta ever had, but in mafia malta we only protect criminals, assassins and fraudsters.
Yes, the stereotypes and the similarities are sometimes too obvious to notice.
This letter to the PM by Ms Comodini Cachia isn’t just an appeal for protection and a summary of developments during the past couple of years, it is also a signal to the PL government.
If the PM fails to follow the request of providing protection to Mr Aquilina and his family for the stated reasons, Mr Aquilina through his lawyer Ms Comodini Cachia might sue the Maltese government for that.
In Malta and also at the European Court of Human Rights.