PEN calls for justice for Maltese journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia | Letters

Writers including Margaret Atwood, Salman Rushdie, Yann Martel, Neil Gaiman, Ian McEwan and Elif Shafak say much more needs to be done to find the investigative journalist’s killers

Monday marks six months since the brutal assassination of our colleague Daphne Caruana Galizia, Malta’s foremost investigative journalist. We write to express our profound concern with the investigation into her assassination, and regarding the behaviour of the management of Valletta 2018, the European Capital of Culture which is in Malta.

PEN International and our global community of journalists, writers and supporters believe that Daphne Caruana Galizia was killed in direct response to her fearless investigative journalism exposing high-level government corruption in Malta. Yet the very same Maltese government officials that she was investigating are in charge of the ongoing investigation into her murder. Senior government officials, including the prime minister, Joseph Muscat, are insisting on trying 34 libel cases against her.

Thankfully, the parliamentary assembly of the Council of Europe has taken the extraordinary step of sending a special rapporteur to scrutinise the investigation. But more needs to be done.

A further alarming development has been the repeated and aggressive destruction of Daphne’s public memorial in Valletta – a symbolic call for justice for Daphne. The Maltese authorities have not attempted to protect the memorial; in fact Jason Micallef, chairman of the Valletta 2018 Foundation, has repeatedly and publicly attacked and ridiculed Daphne on social media, ordering the removal of supportive banners and the memorial itself. This behaviour completely demeans the role of chairman of the capital of culture.

There must be zero tolerance for the ridiculing of the assassination of a journalist in the heart of the EU, especially from the very authorities entrusted to promote media and culture. We call for urgent action to investigate these allegations and ensure justice for our colleague.

Jennifer Clement President, PEN International
Margaret Atwood, Salman Rushdie, Yann Martel PEN Writers Circle members
Eva Bonnier, Albert Bonniers Förlag PEN Publishers Circle members
Neil Gaiman
Aslı Erdoğan
Ian McEwan
Kamila Shamsie
Andrei Kurkov
Elif Shafak
Khadija Ismayilova
Paul Muldoon
Peter Greste

A longer version of this letter, with a full list of signatories, is available at

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