International press freedom groups condemn killing of Maltese investigative journalist

Sixteen press freedom groups condemn the killing of investigative journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia and demand an immediate and independent investigation into her death.

“The mur­der of a promi­nent inves­tiga­tive jour­nal­ist in broad day­light in an EU Mem­ber State under­scores the seri­ous­ness of this crime. Daphne Caru­a­na Galizia’s work as a jour­nal­ist to hold pow­er to account and shine a light on cor­rup­tion is vital to main­tain­ing our demo­c­ra­t­ic insti­tu­tions. Her killing is a loss for her coun­try and for Europe”, Han­nah Mach­lin, project man­ag­er for Index on Censorship’s data plat­form Map­ping Media Free­dom, said.

Daphne Caru­a­na Gal­izia was killed when the car she was dri­ving explod­ed in Bid­ni­ja around 15.00 on 16 Octo­ber in what is thought to have been a  tar­get­ed attack..

“The bar­bar­ic mur­der of Daphne Caru­a­na Gal­izia is an attack on jour­nal­ism itself. This crime is meant to intim­i­date every inves­tiga­tive jour­nal­ist,” Dr Lutz Kinkel, Man­ag­ing Direc­tor of the Euro­pean Cen­tre for Press and Media Free­dom, said.

“Because Prime Min­is­ter Joseph Mus­cat and parts of Malta’s polit­i­cal elite were tar­gets of Galizia’s dis­clo­sures, we strong­ly rec­om­mend an inde­pen­dent inves­ti­ga­tion of this case. The killers have to be found and put on trial.”

Inves­tiga­tive jour­nal­ist Daphne Caru­a­na Galizia,killed by a car bomb on Octo­ber 16 2017 (pho­to:

The blast left her vehi­cle in sev­er­al pieces and threw debris into a near­by field. Half an hour before the pow­er­ful explo­sion, the jour­nal­ist post­ed a com­ment about a libel claim the prime minister’s chief of staff had brought against a for­mer oppo­si­tion leader over com­ments the lat­ter made about corruption.

Gal­izia filed a police report 16 days ago say­ing she was being threatened.

Gal­izia had con­duct­ed a series of high pro­file cor­rup­tion inves­ti­ga­tions and has been sub­ject to dozens of libel suits and harass­ment. Because of her research, in Feb­ru­ary, assets were frozen fol­low­ing a request filed by Eco­nom­ic Min­is­ter Chris Car­dona and his EU pres­i­den­cy pol­i­cy offi­cer Joseph Gerada.

On 24 August oppo­si­tion leader Adri­an Delia filed a law­suit against her over sto­ries link­ing him to off­shore accounts totalling to £1 mil­lion earned from alleged pros­ti­tu­tion in Lon­don flats. On 11 March Sil­vio Debono, own­er of the real estate invest­ment com­pa­ny DB Group, filed 19 libel cas­es against her after Caru­a­na Gal­izia pub­lished a num­ber of arti­cles about his deals with the Mal­tese gov­ern­ment to take over a large tract of high val­ue pub­lic land.

Gal­izia also con­duct­ed an inves­ti­ga­tion link­ing the Prime Min­is­ter Joseph Mus­cat and his wife Michelle to secret off­shore bank accounts to alleged­ly hide pay­ments from Azerbaijan’s rul­ing fam­i­ly, which were unveiled in the Pana­ma Papers. She worked on this inves­ti­ga­tion with her son Matthew Caru­a­na Gal­izia, a jour­nal­ist for the Pulitzer prize win­ning Inter­na­tion­al Con­sor­tium of Inves­tiga­tive Jour­nal­ists, who has had his posts on alle­ga­tions of wrong­do­ing by Prime Min­is­ter Joseph Mus­cat and his asso­ciates cen­sored on Face­book.

On 17 Octo­ber 2017, her fam­i­ly filed an urgent appli­ca­tion for the Duty Mag­is­trate Con­sue­lo Scer­ri Her­rera to abstain from inves­ti­gat­ing Caru­a­na Galizia’s mur­der because of the court’s “fla­grant con­flict of inter­est”. In 2011, the mag­is­trate ini­ti­at­ed court pro­ceed­ings against the jour­nal­ist over com­ments she had made about Mag­is­trate Herrera.

Sev­en reports of vio­la­tions of press free­dom were ver­i­fied in Mal­ta in 2017, accord­ing to Index on Censorship’s Map­ping Media Free­dom project. Five of those are linked to Caru­a­na Gal­izia and her family.

The mur­der has brought wide­spread con­dem­na­tion from the inter­na­tion­al com­mu­ni­ty includ­ing state­ments from Coun­cil of Europe Sec­re­tary Gen­er­al Thor­b­jørn Jagland and OSCE’s Media Free­dom Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Harlem Désir.

We, the under­signed press free­dom organ­i­sa­tions call for:

  • An inde­pen­dent and trans­par­ent inves­ti­ga­tion into the killing of Daphne Caru­a­na Galizia
  • Pro­tec­tion for her fam­i­ly mem­bers and for oth­er Mal­tese jour­nal­ists who have been under threat
  • Mea­sures to pro­tect the envi­ron­ment for inde­pen­dent and crit­i­cal jour­nal­ism to ensure that reporters can work freely


Arti­cle 19 

The Asso­ci­a­tion of Euro­pean Jour­nal­ists (AEJ)  

The Cen­ter for Inves­tiga­tive Reporting 

Com­mit­tee to Pro­tect Journalists 

The Euro­pean Cen­tre for Press and Media Freedom

The Euro­pean Fed­er­a­tion of Jour­nal­ists (EFJ) 

Free­dom of the Press Foundation

Index on Censorship 

Inter­na­tion­al News Safe­ty Insti­tute (INSI) 

Inter­na­tion­al Fed­er­a­tion of Jour­nal­ists (IFJ) 

Inter­na­tion­al Press Insti­tute (IPI) 

Osser­va­to­rio Bal­cani e Cau­ca­so Transeu­ropa (OBCT) 

Ossigeno per I’nformazione 

Plat­form of Inde­pen­dent Jour­nal­ism (P24) 

Reporters Sans Fron­tieres (RSF) 

South East Europe Media Organ­i­sa­tion (SEEMO) 







Kommentarfeltet til denne artikkelen er nå stengt. Ta kontakt med redaksjonen dersom du har synspunkter på artikkelen.

til toppen