Press freedom organisations call on government to protect the press in Malta

On the sixth anniversary of the assassination of journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia, The Committee to Protect Journalists and twelve other press freedom groups called on Maltese authorities to bring to justice all those responsible for her death and to implement in full the recommendations of the public inquiry into the circumstances that led her assassination.

In a statement published on Monday, the signatories noted how, over the last two years, they have repeatedly drawn attention to the lack of progress in implementing the public inquiry’s recommendations to safeguard the media and improve journalists’ safety.

The organisations also called on the government to reinforce three proposed laws to enhance media safety, aligning them with international standards for journalists’ protection, noting how, in its 2021 report, the public inquiry found the state had to “shoulder responsibility” for Caruana Galizia’s assassination because it had created an “atmosphere of impunity” and failed to take reasonable steps to protect her.

The organisations also wrote that the Maltese authorities should mark the sixth anniversary of Caruana Galizia’s death by making unequivocal statements in support of full justice for her assassination, committing to implement the public inquiry’s recommendations, and guaranteeing a transparent consultation on pending legislation with the involvement of international media experts and civil society.

The statement also called for strengthening three proposed laws to improve media safety to meet international standards on the protection of journalists, including the government’s anti-SLAPP legislation, which in its current form is still ineffective.

The statement was signed by ARTICLE 19 Europe, Association of European Journalists, the Committee to Protect Journalists, the European Centre for Press and Media Freedom (ECPMF), the European Federation of Journalists, IFEX, Index on Censorship, International Federation of Journalists, International Press Institute, OBC Transeuropa (OBCT), PEN International, Reporters Without Borders (RSF), and Transparency International EU.

                           

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