The Malta Independent 18 June 2024, Tuesday
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TMID Editorial: Daphne’s murder - ‘The situation is desperate’

Wednesday, 18 October 2017, 12:30 Last update: about 8 years ago

The immediate reaction that followed the news that Daphne Caruana Galizia had been the victim of a cold-blooded murder was one of shock. The feeling eventually gave way to anger - anger at the situation the country now finds itself in, a place which no longer feels safe, and one in which the most fundamental rights are being threatened.

Many cringed on hearing Adrian Delia tell Parliament on Monday that this was a political murder - the result of the total collapse of rule of law in the last four years. Some said it was too soon, others that he was trying to get political mileage out of a tragic situation.


But there is a truth in what Delia said, a truth that many have come to see and believe.

The brutal killing of Malta's most popular and controversial journalist is anything but a 'normal' homicide. It is an attack on the very foundations of democracy; an assault on values which the country fought for dearly and which it now finds itself having to fight for again.

We have to ask ourselves: Why did this happen? Why did someone resort to this brutal violence to end the life of a woman who was speaking up? Is it because this someone thinks that he or she could get literally away with murder?

Let's hope not, and let's hope that the perpetrators are brought to justice. The Prime Minister said that he will not rest before they are caught. It is our collective hope that these are not just words uttered in the heat of the moment, but a real commitment towards justice.

The fact is: our politicians have created the right conditions for hate and intolerance to breed.

Yes, Daphne was a thorn in the Labour Party's side and, lately, also in the Nationalist Party's side. But this woman was constantly derided and demonized by politicians who should have realised that everything they were saying about her, coupled with their actions, would have ripple effects and serious repercussions.

The simple fact that some politicians denounced her as the 'Sahhara tal-Bidnija' and as a liar only served to generate contempt for a woman who was ultimately only doing her job as a journalist.

Then there is the total collapse of faith in the police force. Last week the police were applauded in these columns for making the biggest drug haul in history. But this is the same police force that consistently failed to take action against top politicians, not even bothering to investigate when serious allegations surfaced.

It is also the same police force that has not solved a single car bombing case in recent years. People do not feel safe in their own country.

It is the same police force that is led by an incompetent commissioner who does not have the guts to resign his post, despite the ridicule he has put himself in, and despite failing to act when the evidence he needed was placed right under his nose. The same person who finds it difficult to sack, on the spot, a police sergeant who rejoiced at the journalist's murder.

This is the ideal breeding ground for terrorism, when violent individuals feel that they can act with impunity. Who would have thought that in a modern and peaceful Malta, a country where everyone knows everyone, there are individuals who have no qualms in attaching bombs to journalists' cars and blow them up a few metres away from their house?

This pitiful situation is further exacerbated with a justice system in which the people have lost confidence - like all other major institutions hijacked by the powers that be.

In Daphne's own words: 'the situation is desperate.'


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