Flowers, candles and tributes to Daphne Caruana Galizia left at the foot of the Great Siege Monument, opposite the Law Courts in Valletta.
Daphne Caruana Galizia was assassinated on October 16th, 2017 when a bomb exploded in her car close to her home. She was an investigative journalist in Malta who, “revealed controversially sensitive information and allegations relating to a number of Maltese politicians and the Panama Papers scandal.” Her investigative work was continued in the Daphne Project.
Her memorial at the foot of the Great Siege Monument was being removed every night and supporters replaced it in the morning but recently that has changed and, as of January this year, it had remained intact for a month. Later, in March a court ruled that the removal of the monument violated protesters’ right to freedom of expression.
Unsettling nightly routine in #Malta. City cleaners remove all flowers, photos & candles in front of the court in Valletta dedicated to murdered journalist #DaphneCaruanaGalizia. The worker explains: „instructions from above“. His authority leads to Justice Minister @OwenBonnici. pic.twitter.com/zOYBuFKmTP
— Thomas Datt (@datt_thomas) December 12, 2019
Even after her death, there remains an appearance of government hostility towards Ms Caruana Galizia. People outraged by her assassination, who were determined to keep her memory alive and campaign for the masterminds to be brought to justice, began placing flowers, candles and written messages as an informal memorial at the symbolic site of the ‘Great Siege Monument’ opposite the court of justice. Dr Bonnici, in his capacity as minister for culture, ordered that the memorial be removed every night, and closed the monument for three months for restoration work (compare that to the 11 days it took to restore the Arc de Triomphe in Paris after it was extensively vandalised during ‘gilets jaunes’ demonstrations). One is left with the impression that the government would prefer that Ms Caruana Galizia be erased from the public memory.