European Commission reiterates call for justice in Caruana Galizia murder case

The Commission stressed the need for Europe to show that it would not tolerate violence against journalists

The Commission pledged to not allow journalists, and therefore democracy, to be silenced
The Commission pledged to not allow journalists, and therefore democracy, to be silenced

The European Parliament and the Commission have reiterated calls for those responsible for the brutal assassination of Daphne Caruana Galizia to be brought to justice.

In statements on the one-year anniversary of her murder, both institutions stressed the need to support the independent media, and for a message to be sent to journalists that Europe is a safe place to work.

“Today we honour the hard work and relentlessness of Daphne, Jan Kuciak and many other journalists who sacrifice everything they have – sometimes even their lives – to seek the truth,” read a statement by first vice-president Frans Timmermans, vice-president Andrus Ansip, and commissioners Vera Jourova and Mariya Gabriel.

They said that the one-year anniversary of the journalist’s killing was also an occasion for Europe to “pause for a moment and think about what we hold dear: our right to speak freely”.

The Commission, they said, stood firm on the protection of free speech and a free media.

“Theirs is a job democracy relies and depends on,” the statement read, adding that it was essential for journalists to be able to report freely and without censorship.

Intimidation, harassment, threats as well as violence towards journalists meant that democracy could no longer survive, they said.

Moreover, they also called for more safeguards for whistleblowers who are often the sources of investigative journalism. “They rely on us to ensure their safety, and we cannot let them down.”

“We don’t want these murders to have a chilling effect on free media,” they said. “Citizens should be able to form their own opinions based on unhampered investigation and independent reporting.”

For this reason, they said the masterminds behind Caruana Galizia’s assassination needed to be brought to justice.

“We want the full truth. We need to send a clear signal to all journalists: it is safe to work in Europe. If journalists are silenced, so is democracy. This will not happen in Europe. Not on our watch.”

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