Her very first post was titled Zero Tolerance for Corruption.
She wrote for a decade about the deep seeded corruption of the Maltese government that won admiration and acclaim from the public and also made her a target for reprisal. On October 16th, 2017 Galizia’s life ended when a car bomb ripped through her vehicle in a mafia style execution.
Frequent targets of Galizia’s fearless journalism included the Prime Minister of Malta himself, Joseph Muscat and his political cronies. Over the years, Galizia’s reporting became a persistent thorn in the side of the government as she revealed rife corruption and collusion in the Maltese politics class.
After her appalling assassination, Prime Minister Muscat vowed to bring those responsible for her death to justice. In January, the government announced a pre-dawn raid had taken place and arrests were made in connection to the Daphne’s untimely death. Though the government made a big show of the arrests friends and family remained highly skeptical of the operation noting that none of the individuals arrested were ever the focus of Daphne’s blogging but were most likely low-level conspirators made to take the fall.
In an outrageous and disgusting development, 34 lawsuits for libel filed against the slain journalist, including one by the PM himself (also for libel), continue to be pushed forward. The cases have been brought by Slivio Debono a staunch supporter and financial donor of the country’s Labour party. The lawyer bringing the suit on behalf of Debono also happens to be the lawyer representing one of the accused in connection with the murder of Galizia.
Representative Rebecca Vincent from RSF (Reporters Without Borders) attended the court to document the proceedings.
Reporters Without Borders, or Reporters Sans Frontières, is an international non-profit, non-governmental organization that promotes and defends freedom of information and freedom of the press. The organisation has called for a full independent investigation into Caruana Galizia’s assassination.
34 Posthumous cases of libel against Daphne Caruana Galizia remain open.
Cases Brought by Konrad Mizzi (2 cases) and Silvio Debono (19 cases) heard on March 1st, 2018.
Lawyer for Debono’s 19 libel cases, William Cuschieri is the same lawyer for a suspect in Daphne’s murder.
Silvio Debono (Labour Donor)
William Cuschieri (Lawyer)
Konrad Mizzi (Tourism Minister)
The fact that these defamation suits continue to be brought against an executed journalist, including one by Joseph Muscat demonstrates that Daphne’s enemies are not satisfied with taking her life, they’re intent on pursuing the matter until her work is discredited, disgraced and disappeared down the memory hole.
The Removal of Daphne's Memorial
Just a few days after the 10-year anniversary of Daphne’s Blog, a memorial created to honor Daphne’s life had flowers and pictures completely removed from the location. This shameless act, of course, happened in the dark of night.
Activists and supporters quickly rebuilt the memorial the following day erecting billboard banners that demanded justice for the targeted killing of the late journalist.
The latest actions have taken on a more pro-active tone from the citizens of Malta who have participated in (impromptu) demonstrations in from of the office of Joseph Muscat.
Who Killed Daphne?
A Journalist Killed – No Justice
No Resignations – No Justice
A Country Robbed – No Justice
Inspiration from Film
One of the inspirations for the large sized red and black placards has been the 2017 Oscar-nominated crime drama Three Billboards – Beyond Ebbing, Missouri. The movie starring Frances McDormand, features a woman named Mildred who puts up giant red signs near her home chastising the town’s police chief for not apprehending the man responsible for raping and killing her daughter. Not everyone in the fictional town of Ebbing support Mildred’s actions but as the movie progresses and Mildred refuses to take them down, the billboards become emblematic of her unwavering pursuit of justice.
The signs, which serve as the film’s visual focal point, are striking as a tool of protest—concise, silently confrontational, memorable.
In recent weeks, these types of billboards have appeared in demonstrations and protests in connection to major events such as: the war in Syria, the Grenfell fire, the Parkland shooting and the Assassination of Daphne Caruana Galizia.
Keeping Daphne's Memory Alive
In order to celebrate the courageous life of Daphne Caruana Galizia and to counteract efforts to erase her work from memory, Daphne's family, friends and supporters have been Tweeting and posting quotes from her blog in commemoration. Daphne's assassination has sent a chill through the journalism community in Europe as investigative reporters are being targeted for their work. Journalists in Europe increasingly face harassment, intimidation, death threats, and various forms of violence.
Only a week ago, another European investigative reporter, 27-year old Slovak Jan Kuciak, was shot and killed along with his fiancé. Jan was investigating corruption and governmental ties to the Italian Mafia. A number of people have drawn some comparisons with the assassination of Galizia. These cases represent a worrying trend across the continent. There must be justice for the murders of those who speak truth to power and challenge the corrupted system.