Rights groups cautiously welcome public inquiry into Daphne Caruana Galizia’s murder

This statement was originally published on article19.org on 15 November 2019.

We, the undersigned organisations, cautiously welcome today’s announcement by the Maltese Government that they will update terms of reference and the composition of the Board of Inquiry into the circumstances surrounding the assassination of Daphne Caruana Galizia. This is a long overdue step towards ensuring justice and ending impunity in Daphne’s case and, more broadly, the protection of journalists in Malta.

Our organisations, alongside the family of Daphne Caruana Galizia, the Council of Europe and the European Parliament, have long called for an independent, impartial and effective public inquiry into her assassination, which took place by a car bomb outside her home in Malta on 16 October 2017. We have been dismayed by the repeated delays and obstructionism of the Maltese Government in establishing a public inquiry that is fully compliant with Malta’s obligations under Article 2 of the European Convention on Human Rights. It is also of deep concern that a bereaved family has had to mount a two-year advocacy campaign and prepare to litigate against their own government to fulfil its legal obligations to ensure justice for Daphne.

We will now closely monitor the progress of the Board of Inquiry; it must have the full support and cooperation of the Maltese Government, and it must proceed without further delay and with full resources to ensure that the whole truth emerges concerning the circumstances of the assassination of Malta’s foremost journalist. Lessons must be learnt and implemented by the Maltese Government in order to fulfil their obligations to protect all other journalists in Malta continuing to pursue public interest investigative reporting, who remain at risk.

Sarah Clarke, Head of Europe and Central Asia, at ARTICLE 19 commented on the development: “The Maltese Government have today finally revised the terms of the public inquiry into Daphne’s assassination to make it fully independent, impartial and effective.  This should never have taken two years.  The international community will be closely monitoring the Maltese Government’s compliance with the public inquiry and expect lessons learned to be  implemented in a timely manner. Without this, journalists in Malta remain at serious risk.”

Signed by


Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ)

European Centre for Press and Media Freedom (ECPMF)


International Press Institute (IPI)

PEN America

PEN International

Reporters Without Borders (RSF)

Scottish PEN

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Human Rights Network for Journalists-Uganda (HRNJ-Uganda) is a network of human rights journalists in Uganda working towards enhancing the promotion, protection and respect of human rights through defending and building the capacities of journalists, to effectively exercise their constitutional rights and fundamental freedoms for collective campaigning through the media.

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