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Home arrow newsitems arrow Web Journalist Daphne Murder 2 Years After: No real Enquiry say CoE/OSCE/UN +back Victims' Family

Web Journalist Daphne Murder 2 Years After: No real Enquiry say CoE/OSCE/UN +back Victims' Family

Written by ACM
Wednesday, 16 October 2019
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*Strasboug/Angelo Marcopolo/- Murdered Web Journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia "practiced" News as "a Service in the Public Interest", rightfully stressed CoE, OSCE and UNO Human Rights' Senior Officers, in an Exceptionaly Joint Communiqué, published 2 Years after her Brutal Killing by a Bomb near her Family Home, for which, Scandalously, "Masterminds remain Unaccountable for now", as they Denounced, Slaming a Last-Minute Attempt by Controversial Public Authorities in Malta to cover-up its Grave Responsibilities for such a rare Failure to do elementary Justice.

- "On the Contrary, posthumous Libel Suits continue to Target the Family" of the Victim, her Husband and her 3 Sons), while, Even "makeshift Memorials of her are frequently Removed", they Critically Observed, after a recent Letter by the Prime Minister of Malta, (often Criticized, himself and/or his entourage, by Daphne's Publications), where he Shamefully Refused to Stop Persecuting the Victims' Family unless they are Obliged to Accept the Controversial Claim of some Officials appointed by hs Govenment that he would be completely innocent of any Corruption Suspicion : To which, Daphne's Family Proudly Replied that they did Not Yield to "Blackmail" !

The Joint Statement published Today by CoE Human Rights Commissioner Dunja Mijatović,  OSCE Representative on Media Freedom Harlem Désir, UN Rapporteurs on Freedom of Opinion and Expression, David Kaye, and on ExtraJudicial, summary or Arbitrary Executions, Agnes Callamard, (See Replies to "Eurofora"s Questions by Mijatovic : ... + ..., etc, Kaye: ..., and Desir: ..., etc), Strongly Criticizes the fact that "the Government of Malta remains far Behind in its Obligation to ensure that Investigations in the Murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia are conducted in a Prompt, Effective, Independent and Impartial manner" : Indeed, "2 Years have passed", But, still, there are "No Convictions, No Trials of RingLeaders and Masterminds".

- Until now, it's Only 3 Laymen, who have "have been Charged with the murder", and "after almost 20 Months, they were finally ordered to stand Trial", (since, Otherwise, the Exhaustion of Legal Time Deadlines, would have Obliged the Auhorities to let them Free to go)... "However, Ending Impunity requires holding Accountable not only those who carried out the murder, but everyone Complicit in it, including the Masterminds behind it", who Scandalously remain still Totaly Unknown, Keeping Hidden the Reason for which that Journalist was Murdered.

=> Therefore, "we Urge the Government of Malta to uphold its Obligations to respect and ensure Freedom of Expression and Press freedom, and to Investigate the Murder of Daphne", "in accordance with the Standards of International Human Rights' Law, (such as those of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and of the European Convention on Human Rights)", they stressed.

- Calling "on the Authorities", "to Speed up the process of establishing Accountability, and shed full Light on this Horrendous Crime", the CoE/OSCE/UNO's Human Rights Senior Officers, stress that "he Government of Malta owes an Answer to Daphne, her Family, Maltese Society, and All Journalists around the World".

 - Because, as they observe, this 2nd "Tragic Anniversary of the Murder of Daphne",  that "Shook People in Europe, and Beyond",  "reminds us of the Costs borne by Journalists, particularly those who Seek to hold the Powerful to Account", while "Investigative Journalism embodies the central Values of Access to Information, and Robust reporting and Debate to Democratic Society", so that, any "Attacks" on Such  Journalists "not only Deny their right to Life", but they Also "Deny the Public’s Right to Know".


>>> Indeed, "Journalism, as Daphne Caruana Galizia, and countless Others around the World have Practiced it, is a Service in the Public Interest", (and Not Just a Selfish, Private Business), CoE/OSCE/UNO Human Rights' Top Experts underlined.

- This echoes what "Eurofora" has Recently discussed, at the CoE in Strasburg, with Daphne's Son Mathew, himself a practicing Journalist, about his Mother's personal Notes at her Web Site's Discussions with Readers, in which she had, effectively, observed that, probably, in the whole Country (Malta), there were just 2 Journalists trying to practice that Special Kind of Public Service Journalism for the People, taking also Risks to Criticize Powerful circles, whenever they seriously felt that it was necessary for the General Interest of the Society.

- And her Husband, (Lawyer himself), had recently Stressed in Strasbourg, during a Public Lecture on his Brutally Murdered Wife, with obvious Sorrow, but also Proud or her, that, - "When she Believed that she just Had to Write and Publish on a (News) Story that the People Needed to Know, Nothing could Stop her : Not even Guns, Neither 1000 Turkish Knives !"...

=> A Noble and Profoundly Authentic Idea for Real Journalism, which stands much More Near to ECHR's own Definition of Press Freedom, based on Article 10 of the PanEuropean Convention on Human Rights, than any of those, entirely Different, and often Antithetic, Ersatz Misconceptions with which some Claim to Close Journalism in a Narrow-minded, Selfish, "Fiscal" and Petty Caricature of individuals merely empocketing a percentage of Money by a Business (sic !)...

An Anti-Democratic Deviation which has been clearly Rejected, inter alia, Also by the Cryctal-clear Definitions of Journalism, (as a Person's Commitment to Regular Search, Writting and Publishing of Pertinent Informations, needed to be known by the People for the General Interest of the Society), Both by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, already as Early as, in 2 Landmark Collective Decisions of its Plenary Since 1986, (Discussed at a CoE's Conference in Strasbourg on 2016), and at the PanEuropean Organisation for Human Rights, Democracy and Rule of Law's latest Book on the Definition of Journalism and Press Freedom, published on 2017, (See: ... + ..., etc).

Indeed, the Murdered Journalist's Youngest Son, Paul, (who Represented the Family also at CoE's Parliamentary Assembly's latest relevant Event, this Autumn 2019 in Strasbourg), had already told "Eurofora", (and this was Also Confirmed by his Father, speaking to "Eurofora" Later-on, here), Daphne's Traditional Media in the Past, a Weekly Newspaper of the Establishment, practically Censored or Refused almost All Critical NewStories that she Wrote, (mainly because of Government and/or Other's Pressure, particularly by Threats to Deprive that Commercial Media from Lucrative Publicity Revenues, etc), so that she was Obliged to Create her own Web Media, (which bears her own Name), in order to Allow her an elementary Freedom to Publish what her Conscience, as Real Journalist, convinced her that it was Needed by the People to Know, for the General Interest of the Society.

------------------------------

 But the above-mentioned, Exceptional Joint Move by CoE, OSCE and UNO's Top Senior Officers on Human Rights, including Free Speech and Journalism, came Today also at a Crucial Moment, while the Controversial current Maltese Government had just Attempted to clumsily Hide its own Responsibility for Failing to meet a Time Deadline set up by CoE's Monitoring Bodies for a Transparent, Independent and Efficient Investigation of Daphne's Murder, by, suddenly, Announcing its intention, Earlier this Autumn 2019, to set up a Special, Uni-Person "Committee", to Enquire whether that Government had Committed an Error, in this Tragic Case, or Not at all...

This was Maltese Prime Minister Muscat's indirect but main reaction, shortly After CoE's Human Rights Commissioner, Dunja Mijatovic, had Stongly Criticized the Fact that, in Addition the More than 40 civil and Criminal Defamation Suits (Most from that Government-related sides), that had Faced the Murdered Journalist, since her Murder, some ...30 were Transferred to her Family, according to a Maltese Law which allows plaintifs to Pursue actions against the Heirs of a Deceased Accused !

PM Muscat Refused to Stop such scandalous persecution of the Murdered Journalist's Family, unless they Accepted the Conclusions of a Previous, Controversial body which had claimed that he was absolutely Innocent from any Suspicion. But, after Dathne's Family Refused to Yield to such a "Blackmail", (Comp. Supra), Muscat's Governmen being Exposed to growing Criticism, he, Suddenly, used that "Public Inquiry" New Pretext, in order to Divert Attention from the Obvious Fact that he had just Failed to meet the Time Deadline, set up by CoE's Parlamentary Assembly, for proving that his Government was Able to make, at last, an "Efficient" Investigation on Daphne's Murder...

Initialy, it seems that such a Manoeuver risked to give False Impressions, to the point that it was presented by some, even to the incoming, then, New CoE's Secretary General Marija Buric, as if it marked a "Progress"" in the fulfillment of that controversial Maltese Government's obligations...

But the Hard Reality soon Surfaced, when People started to Examine the Official Terms of Reference of Mr. Muscat's "Public Inquiry" Board, including CoE Assembly's (PACE) Rapporteur on Daphne's Murder, Dutch ChristianDemocrat/EPP MEP Pieter Omtzigt, the Critical Conclusions of whom, were Endorsed by PACE's Legal and Human Rights Committee, this October 2019 in Strasbourg :

Inter alia, Controversial Maltese Prime Minister's so-called "Public Inquiry", was, in fact, Restricted into a 9 Months Only Mandate ; did Not aim at all to Find and Punish the Instigators of Daphne's Murder, but only to check if the Government had failed to Prevent that Murder, and/or whether Malta's Legal Framework is Sufficient also for Other similar Cases ; its Composition was Fixed by that Same Prime Minister that it was supposed to Check, and included Individuals who had, each, various links of personal Interest within his Government, (f.ex. doing Business with them, or having been Appointed to a Job by them, etc), instead of being really Independent ; an effective Participation in its Activities by the Victim's Family (according to ECHR's case-law) was Not Guaranteed, while, at any case, it should "Not impede or compromise (the) Criminal Investigation" on Daphne's Murder, conducted Exclusively by the State's usual Authorities ; its Activities, instead of being Transparent, could, in fact, be also held largely "in Camera", while even the immediate and full Publication of its Conclusions was Not Guaranteed ; (etc)...      

=> "The Inquiry, as Currently constituted, Clearly does Not Meet the (COE) Assembly's Expectations", Omtzigt    inevitably concluded, according to the official transcript endorsed by PACE.  

CoE's Rapporteur is due to "Follow" relevant Developments, in view of the competent PACE Committee's Next Meeting, in the Middle of November 2019, in Paris.

 

(../..)

(DraftNews)

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  Ten Years of ECHR : 1998 - 2008 show need of Revival in 2009-2010 coinciding with 2009 EU Election
   

A threefold, coordinated move by new Top French Political actors in the 2009 EU Parliament Elections, expressed in Strasbourg a will to boost Europe's Political dimension close to Citizens' concerns, going from protection of Economy to defence of Human Rights.    

The move met an exceptional ECHR's call for a "revival" of Human Rights' protection mechanism', in a Mega-Conference, early 2010.   

Obviously focusing on June 2009 Elections to EU Parliament, it involved from the outset the recently nominated "dual" Head of French Governing Party (UMP)  Michel BARNIER and Rachida DATI :

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     - "As President Sarkozy has clearly said, we (France) are in favor of a Strong, Sovereign and Independent, Political Europe, which protects its Citizens, and not for a large Super-Market, nor for a Europe under influence",

    "This goes for everything, including Energy", added to "EuroFora" the experienced former EU Commissioner, Minister of Foreign affairs, currently of Agriculture and Sarkozy's new pick as Leader of the Governing party UMP to EU 2009 Election, Michel BARNIER                                              .                             

  - Human Rights are important because they are at the Heart of the Political Europe that we aspire for : I.e. a Europe able to act and protect its Citizens, stressed also the New French Minister for European affairs, Bruno LE MAIRE, while meeting Strasbourg's Journalists at his first visit to the CoE.   

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This is one of the main interests for CoE, which is also a natural place for cooperation between EU countries and Russia or Turkey, which was recently helpful at the Middle East crisis, he added.

The move gained momentum with French Minister of Justice, Rachida Dati's main observations at ECHR's 5Oth Anniversary :   

- "While we are seeking Europe's Borders and Identity, you (ECHR) remind us also of its Values", Human Rights, Dati noted.   

Citizens seek more and more often ECHR's help, and the tempo accelerates, Europa awaits a symbol, while national legal orders are not freezed   

And she expressed "support" to ECHR President Jean-Paul Costa's call to satisfy the vital need to revigorate the PanEuropean Court by deciding big changes at a High-Level Conference open to a large audience, a kind of "Etats Generaux" of Human Rights, at the beginning of 2010.       

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It's not so much the recently growing number of applications for Russia or Ukraine etc, which seems to be Costa's main concern : In fact, the cases declared "admissible" are much fewer...    

But rather the persistent violations of Human Rights, sometimes very grave (ie. murders, torture, abritrary deprivation of liberty, oppression of freedom of speech, destructions of homes/properties, etc), despite numerous, repeated condemnations by ECHR. So that CoE's Ministers, due to "supervise execution" of ECHR's judgements, are overloaded.   

F.ex. most Media noted that Turkey still remains, even in 2008, the 1st among 47 CoE member States in the number of condemnations by ECHR :  257, compared to 233 for Russia, with a population more than the double..    

The problem is that it's not the 1st time at all : During all the last Decade 1998-2008, Turkey was condemned by ECHR much more than any other State, and for particularly grave violations :   

- 1.652 condemnations, compared to 605 for Russia, 548 for Poland, 494 for France, 476 for Ukraine, etc.   

Italy's second place with 1.394 condemnations is a misleading false appearance : In fact, most of them (999) concern mere "procedural delays" in national courts. Same for France.   

On the contrary, Turkey was condemned 180 times for Killings, 192 times for Torture or Inhuman/Degrading treatments, 340 times for arbitrary deprivation of Liberty, 528 times for "Unfair trial", and 169 times for oppression of Freedom of speech, (etc). And the latest, 2008 numbers, indicate no change in this trend, (See supra).   

The current Spanish CoE Presidency (November 2008 - May 2009) has made of the implementation of ECHR's judgements its 1st Priority.   

ECHR's President, Jean-Paul Costa, stressed in its 2009 Annual Press Conference, CoE Member States' obligation to implement the judgements, according to Article 46 of the European Convention on Human Rights.   

Moreover, if CoE's Committee of Ministers delays to ensure implementation, then, the repetition of violations in similar cases provokes a multiplication of complaints tabled to the Court, which overload the mecanism for the protection of Human Rights, denounced Costa.          

A series of Debates on "the situation of Human Rights in Europe", focusing on the "need to fight against Impunity" of perpetrators of grave crimes, is  currently prepared by CoE's Parliamentary Assembly for the session of June 2009.  

The final Timing comes shortly AFTER the EU Elections, but the main Reports should have been adopted before.

Meanwhile, French President Sarkozy and German Chancelor Merkel's recent call "for a Political Europe" in 2009 EU Elections (See earlier "correspondence from Paris, Elysee Palace), seems more and more endorsed also by other EU Countries' Top MEPs :

Thus, f.ex., EU Parliament's 1st vice-President, Greek MEP Mrs Rodi KRATSA, speaking to "EuroFora", agreed that 2009 EU Election would be a "naturally good" opportunity to debate what really interests EU Citizens : "The Future of a Political Europe, able to face the Economic Crisis, with a Culture and identity which attracts the People"

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(Photo taken earlier during Sarkozy's 1st visit at EU Parliament, in 2007 : Sarkozy and Merkel's Ideas for a Political Europe inspire also other EU politicians accross the continent)..
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