BY INSI

News media urge full investigation into murder of Daphne Caruana

Following the brutal murder of Maltese journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia, several major news organisations, among them INSI members, wrote an open letter to European Commission First Vice-President Frans Timmermans urging a full investigation into Daphne's death.

 

Dear Vice-President Timmermans,

The shocking murder of Maltese investigative journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia is an appalling reminder of the dangers that journalists and citizens practising journalism face every day, as they seek to uncover corruption and criminal behaviour by the rich and powerful.

Daphne's murderers cannot be allowed to achieve their clear objective of silencing her investigation into corruption at the highest levels in Malta. We welcome your public comments stating that Malta must show to Europe and the world that its rules and regulations are healthy and robust. 

As you are aware, in 2016 the European Commission’s media pluralism monitoring tool raised concerns about the lack of political independence of the Maltese media, finding that "Malta is the only EU country that has such extensive media ownership by the political parties."  That report also found that Malta scored poorly on editorial autonomy "mainly due to the lack of regulatory and self-regulatory measures that safeguard editorial independence in the news media”.

Daphne's murder, combined with the structural issues the Commission identified, demonstrate the need for a full investigation into the state of media independence in Malta by the Commission.  We ask that you use your office to engage the Maltese government in urgent dialogue to ensure that it is aware of its obligations as a member of the European Union to uphold the rule of law, and to maintain press freedom and free expression.

The murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia demonstrates the danger that journalists face in the pursuit of truth.  It also demonstrates the fear that the corrupt and powerful have of being exposed.  We request that you use all powers at your disposal to ensure that Daphne's death is fully investigated, and to send a clear signal of support to journalists working in the public interest, in Malta and all over the world. 

Yours sincerely,

Katharine Viner, editor-in-chief, the Guardian

Wolfgang Krach, editor-in-chief, Süddeutsche Zeitung

Dean Baquet, executive editor, The New York Times

Lionel Barber, editor, Financial Times

James Harding, director of news and current affairs, BBC

Mario Calabresi, editor-in-chief, La Repubblica

Antonio Caño, editor-in-chief, El Pais

Jérôme Fenoglio, director, Le Monde

Photo be AFP