‘Every day in my work, I see Daphne’s legacy’

In a speech marking the 6.5-year anniversary of the assassination of journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia, lawyer Caoilfhionn Gallagher said that despite often focusing on what has not happened since her death, there have been many powerful achievements that may have seemed impossible to many.

“Today we mark six and a half years since Daphne Caruana Galizia was brutally murdered. Because she was a journalist. Because she trod on very powerful toes in her search for truth. Because she spoke out and she refused to be silenced,” Gallagher said in her opening remarks on Tuesday.

She described Caruana Galizia as a “courageous, ground-breaking woman” who faced decades of threats and harassment for her reporting.

“What happened in October 2017 was a logical, horrific extension of the many other ways the powerful had already attempted to silence her”.

Gallagher then went on to stress that Caruana Galizia’s death was “not a bolt from the blue” but rather the result of a “culture of impunity” enabled by the highest levels of government and cited the 2021 Public Inquiry, which found that disgraced former Prime Minister Joseph Muscat and his cabinet were collectively responsible for creating the conditions in which Caruana Galizia could be targeted.

But she also acknowledged the significant progress made in the years since the assassination.

She highlighted the flourishing of civil society in Malta and praised the work of groups such as Repubblika and the Daphne Caruana Galizia Foundation. She also highlighted recent legal victories, such as the court ruling protecting the memorial.

Gallagher also noted international progress in protecting journalists’ rights, including the EU’s new anti-SLAPP directive, officially published in the Official Journal of the European Union on 16 April.

Caoilfhionn Gallagher KC is a human rights lawyer at Doughty Street Chambers. She specialises in the safety of journalists and accountability for crimes against them and leads the international legal team for the family of Daphne Caruana Galizia.

Gallagher was joined at the monthly vigil by speeches from Repubblika President Vicki Ann Cremona, Alessandra Dee Crespo, Colm Regan and Martina Farrugia.


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Emanjel Cilia Debono
Emanjel Cilia Debono
1 month ago

Daphne lost her life because of her brave stand in defense of Press freedom. Anti Slapp legislation should be introduced without delay. The Media constitute the Fourth Pillar of democracy. Any undue interference by the Executive (including the PBS and the Broadcasting Authority ) is regressive. If any regulator is needed to protect citizens from abuse, such regulator should be set up’ ad hoc’ and should form part of an independent Judiciary totally removed from any direct or indirect political control by State Broadcasting agents or by .any government departments , units or agencies

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