UN tells Malta to take concrete steps to implement Caruana Galizia public inquiry

Several of the recommendations call for implementing the Daphne Caruana Galizia Public Inquiry reforms.

 

Several countries have urged Malta to take concrete steps to ensure a safe working environment for journalists, including protecting them from threats, attacks, reprisals, and strategic lawsuits against public participation.

Specifically, Malta was called upon to implement the full recommendations of the 2021 public inquiry into the death of Daphne Caruana Galizia, identify all those involved in the journalist’s assassination, and ensure there is no impunity for this crime.

The recommendations are part of the country report for Malta of the Working Group on the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) at the United Nations Human Rights Council 45th Session (UN HRC45), which comprehensively analyses Malta’s human rights situation.

This exercise is carried out every four and a half years, where the 193 UN member states rotate through an interactive review of their human rights situation to improve human rights worldwide.

These recommendations were made by countries including Austria, which emphasised the need for unhindered investigations and expressed concern about Strategic Lawsuits against Public Participation (SLAPPs), and Australia, which called for investigating and prosecuting cases of intimidation and violence against journalists.

Meanwhile, Ireland recommended implementing robust measures to improve media safety in line with the public inquiry recommendations, and Slovenia urged Malta to identify all those involved in Caruana Galizia’s assassination to ensure no impunity.

The United States stressed the importance of implementing the recommendations, while the United Kingdom advised reviewing progress against all the recommendations to clarify the next steps.

Spain further urged Malta to continue working on the reform promoted by the government in 2022 to introduce constitutional changes that guarantee freedom of the press and the Freedom of Information Act (FOI) reform.

On paper, in practice

Although the government has accepted the UN’s recommendations, nothing has been done to properly address the public inquiry findings since October last year, when Prime Minister Robert Abela announced that the government would issue a White Paper with a proposed media reform law.

The public inquiry into the circumstances surrounding Caruana Galizia’s death concluded in July 2021 that the State “should bear the responsibility for the assassination”.

The public inquiry report also made a series of wide-ranging recommendations for reform within the government and the police to improve the safety of journalists in Malta. Nevertheless, these recommendations have run into a lack of political will, which remains entrenched.

Malta’s government has only fully implemented one of the 28 key recommendations, the entire process of which was mishandled.

Neither has there been any progress in reforming Malta’s inadequate Freedom of Information laws as the government still refuses to publish a study that the justice ministry requested four years ago to revamp the Act as suggested by the Council of Europe’s (CoE) anti-corruption body GRECO.

The UN’s Universal Periodic Review list of recommendations can be found here.

                           

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3 Comments
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makjavel
makjavel
19 days ago

Seems we have been transferred to North Korea standards by the UN.

carlos
carlos
19 days ago

we should be proud (sic) of all these achievements being mentioned for so corrupt, grazzi ghall-gosef il-korrott u shabu korrotti. kif ma tisthux tidrhu quddiem id-dinja.

Mick
Mick
19 days ago

C’mon people do you really think that they will do anything that will expose their continued filibustering of anything remotely like the TRUTH. These people are total arseholes who firmly believe in their divine right to rule by fear of anything they deem hostile especially the TRUTH. However believe it or not KARMA is never very far away and there are bucket loads out there for them.

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