Thousands of people gathered Sunday in Malta’s capital, Valletta, to honor and continue the fight of slain investigative journalist and anti-corruption blogger Daphne Caruana Galizia, reported The New York Times.
The Civil Society Network organized the demonstration after a car bomb brutally killed 53-year-old Caruana Galizia on Oct. 16.
Protesters attending the event borne signs and t-shirts repeating Caruana Galizia’s last blogged words, “There are crooks everywhere you look now. The situation is desperate.” Additionally, the demonstrators created a shrine for the brave journalist laden with flowers, marched to patriotic songs and mounted a sign declaring Malta a “Mafia state.” Police quickly removed the sign.
Head of the Civil Society Network Michael Briguglio said, “the commissioner of police and the attorney general should be removed for not having acted following revelations in the so-called ‘Panama Papers,’” according to Reuters.
In April, Caruana Galizia reported that the wife of Prime Minister Joseph Muscat was the beneficiary of a secret company in Panama which received US$ 1 million from Azerbaijan. She was known for fearlessly criticizing many political leaders, such as Prime Minister Joseph Muscat, on her blog titled, “Running Commentary.”
On Saturday, the government released a statement offering a US$ 1.18 million reward and legal protection for anyone that comes forward with information leading to the arrest and prosecution of Caruana Galizia’s murderer. The journalist’s family responded by refusing to endorse the award and demanding the resignation of Prime Minister Muscat.
The Prime Minister chose not to attend the protests, claiming his presence would be “inappropriate.” On the other hand, President Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca attended the rally with her husband before meeting with Civil Society Network leaders.
In a plea for justice and the resignation of the police commissioner Lawrence Cutajar, hundreds of the demonstrators stayed after the rally to further show their disapproval during a sit-in outside the police headquarters. Some people shouted, “Shame on you!” and “Resign!” while others threw various food items at a picture of Cutajar.
“We are here to say: The pen conquers fear,” Christophe Deloire, the director general of Reporters Without Borders told the crowd, according to The New York Times.
Valletta, Malta (Photo: Frank Vincentz, CC-BY-SA-3.0)