The International Press Association (API-IPA), the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ-FIJ) and the Belgian journalist associations VVJ and AJP are shocked by the murder of Maltese journalist Daphne C. Galizia. Our sympathy and condolences go to her family and colleagues.
The death of Ms. Galizia has to be examined and those responsible brought to justice. This cannot be left to the Maltese authorities alone. There are considerable doubts about their impartiality. Ms. Galizia has been intimidated by politicians in office. On 8 February 2017 a court upheld a request by the Minister for the Economy to freeze her bank account. This was widely believed to be the answer of the government to an article she had published about this minister. Hence, it cannot be taken for granted that the government is not somehow implicated in her death.
We consider the pressure exercised on our Maltese colleague as an infringement of the principles of press freedom and a clear intimidation of our profession. The OSCE has already in February voiced concern about this. The death of Ms. Galizia shows that this situation has gone from bad to worse.
We therefore cannot entirely trust the Maltese authorities. A government that does not respect the independence of the press will not hesitate to put pressure on its own administration and judiciary.
The inquiry into the death of Ms. Galizia has to be carried out by independent experts from outside Malta. The European Commission should come forward with proposals for such an investigation either on the basis of European law or of international law. We urge the Maltese government to accept such a mission and to fully facilitate and cooperate with it.
Brussels, 19 October 2017