November 2, 2017

Free expression and anti-corruption groups hold London vigil for murdered journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia

London, 2 November 2017. Today, on the International Day to End Impunity for Crimes Against Journalists, around 60 free expression advocates, anti-corruption activists, and other supporters gathered in London to honour the courage of investigative journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia, and call for justice in her case.

Caruana Galizia was tragically killed on 16 October when a bomb placed under her car exploded as she drove away from her home in Bidnija, in the north of the island of Malta. A specialist in investigating corruption, her work included exposés of the shady secret deals, uncovered in the Panama Papers, that show how politicians and others hide illicit wealth behind secret companies. Her allegations about government corruption led to early elections in the country last June.

“Daphne Caruana Galizia showed remarkable courage in relentlessly pursuing investigations into official corruption and publishing stories that some clearly wanted to keep hidden, for which she paid the ultimate price. We call for justice for Daphne, and for an end to the vicious cycle of violence against journalists and impunity for their attackers everywhere it occurs. An attack on a journalist anywhere is an attack on journalism itself”, said Rebecca Vincent, UK Bureau Director for Reporters Without Borders.

“Daphne Caruana Galizia embodied the courage and commitment of independent journalists everywhere to bring us the news and illuminate inconvenient truths at great risk. Her cowardly murder must not go unpunished. Today we stand with Caruana Galizia’s family, friends, and colleagues, in the pledge to seek justice for her and for all journalists who have paid the ultimate price simply for doing their job”, said Nina Ognianova, Europe and Central Asia Programme Coordinator for the Committee to Protect Journalists.

“For decades, leading investigative journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia fought courageously to uncover corruption in her native Malta, in spite of ongoing intimidation, threats, lawsuits and attacks on her family home. Following her brutal murder, it is crucial that we come together to pay tribute to her bravery, to call for a full and impartial investigation, and to continue her legacy”, said Cat Lucas, Writers at Risk Programme Manager for English PEN.

"We are shocked and saddened at the death of Daphne Caruana Galizia. It's important and necessary that we acknowledge her today and moving forward to pay tribute to her bravery in fighting corruption in her country. Her tragic death will serve as a stark reminder of the dangers journalists around the world face every day in doing their important work", said Laura Gane, Editorial Director of the Frontline Club.

“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”, said Hannah Machlin, Project Manager for Index on Censorship's Mapping Media Freedom programme.

“Daphne Caruana Galizia was a lone but important voice, and her death leaves a void in a country that urgently needs to address the growing widespread perception that it is failing in its efforts to end corruption”, said Patricia Moreira, Managing Director of Transparency International.

Co-sponsors of the London vigil included ARTICLE 19, the Committee to Protect Journalists, English PEN, Frontline Club, Index on Censorship, PEN International, Reporters Without Borders, and Transparency International.

Malta is ranked 47th out of 180 countries in Reporters Without Borders’ 2017 World Press Freedom Index, and 47th out of 176 countries in Transparency International’s Corruption Perception Index 2016.

Press contacts: Rebecca Vincent, Reporters Without Borders at 07583 137751 or [email protected]; Katie Morris, ARTICLE 19 at 020 7324 2525 or [email protected]; Cat Lucas, English PEN at [email protected]; Hannah Machlin, Index on Censorship at 07447 579882 or [email protected]; and Dominic Kavakeb, Transparency International at 020 3096 7695, 07964 560340, or [email protected].