Murder at the heart of the EU

The past year, 2017, was marked by the car bomb murder in October of Daphne Caruana Galizia, an anti-corruption journalist who had exposed the underbelly of local politics and had indirectly caused early general elections to be held in June 2017. She had for years been under growing pressure, fuelled by the popularity of her Running Commentary blog, her work on the local ramifications of the Panama Papers scandal, and other issues. At the time of her death, she was the target of 42 civil defamation actions and five criminal defamation proceedings. She had also been the repeated target of threats and other forms of harassment. The judicial harassment was a classic example of SLAPPs (strategic lawsuits against public participation), lawsuits in which powerful plaintiffs try to use fear of massive legal defense costs to silence outspoken critics. Under threat from leading personalities or business groups, independent media outlets have been forced to surrender and to remove stories from their websites.

in the 2018 World Press Freedom Index



47 in 2017

Global score


24.76 in 2017

  • 0
    journalists killed in 2019
  • 0
    citizens journalists killed in 2019
  • 0
    media assistants killed in 2019
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