The Murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia and Threat to Free Press
Firebrand Maltese investigative journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia was murdered on 16 October in a car bomb blast in Bidnija. Her rented Peugeot 108 was ripped apart due to the high-intensity blast that took place near her home. Daphne Caruana Galizia is well known for her role in investigating the Panama Papers, which accused the prime minister of Malta, Joseph Muscat and his wife of siphoning-off kickbacks they have received through corrupt practices. Muscat strongly condemned the heinous crime and committed that he will intensify the investigation to find out the perpetrators, however, Mathew, the son of Daphne Caruana Galizia, accused the government of impunity and also demanded the removal of the magistrate investigating the case. Daphne Caruana Galizia had been critical of most politicians, especially the Muscat and his Labour Party for being corrupt and apart from exposing his involvement in the Panama papers, she had also criticised the fascist Nationalist Party and its leader. In her last post criticising the political situation of Malta, Daphne Caruana Galizia wrote:
“There are crooks everywhere you look now. The situation is desperate.”
The killing of Daphne Caruana Galizia is in sync with the attempts to gag the free and critical media made by the international finance and monopoly capitalist system, the fountainhead of all corruptions and scams. Throughout the world, from Europe to the US, from Africa to India, the free press is coming under severe attack from those whom it criticises. “My mother was assassinated because she stood between the rule of law and those who sought to violate it,” Matthew Galizia said to the BBC. He lambasted the government for playing a secret role behind her assassination, as she was continuously digging deep into the misdeeds of the government, which projects itself as a European liberal regime while being one of the most corrupt and despotic regimes of the region. Daphne Caruana Galizia defied the regime’s bullying and exposed the dealings of Muscat and his wife with the Azerbaijan rulers, she also hinted in February 2016 about the involvement of two of Muscat’s close aides, his Tourism Minister Konrad Mizzi and his Chief of Staff Keith Schembri in the Panama companies, which later forced Muscat to resign and call for an election. Though the Labour Party again emerged victorious under the leadership of Joseph Muscat, who was re-elected as the prime minister, Daphne Caruana Galizia kept her fight against graft on.
Daphne Caruana Galizia wrote sharply critical articles on her blog https://daphnecaruanagalizia.com/ that exposed the corrupt practices and hypocrisy of the Maltese politics and its key players. She remained tilted towards centrism in her political approach but never showed mercy in her criticisms. Earlier she was arrested by the police when she mocked Joseph Muscat’s victory in 2013. She was also sued by a magistrate in 2010 for her criticisms, which were called by the magistrate as libellous and defaming, the case was, like most of such bullying cases, withdrawn in 2011. So in the state machinery and the political set-up, Daphne Caruana Galizia only had enemies, baying for her blood for her critical writings. Now when she is blown away by a professionally triggered explosion, just near her home, then joining the scrabbled dots doesn’t remain a rocket science.
We can see a rapid increase in attacks against investigative and critical journalism throughout the world. These attacks are mostly initiated by what Mathew Galizia called the “mafia state” machinery and its managers. The concept of “free press” that the capitalist world held in high esteem and called an inalienable part of its so-called democratic structure, is now trampled by the same system as criticism of the government is considered a threat at a time when the crisis of international monopoly and finance capitalism is growing intense. Fascism is the only way out for the capitalist system now to consolidate its rule and dispel the discontent of the people.
This is one of the reasons why the big banks and corporations are throwing their weight behind the self-styled anti-establishment rhetoric mongers, who spin conspiracy theories and try to paste the label of “left-wing” on them who have hitherto served the interests of monopoly and finance capital with utmost loyalty. The likes of Donald Trump, Theresa May, Marine Le-penne, Narendra Modi, etc. managed to sweep elections by using the anger prevailing within the people against the system, though they work towards consolidating the very system and carry forward similar agendas, but with the blend of communal or racial hatred to polarise a large section of the people.
As critical journalism dares to expose the true intentions of such tyrannical fascist regimes, therefore, the press and journalists who doesn’t work as the PR wing of the new order or dare to criticise the order itself, either becomes target of the ruling class’ censors and vitriol or face the bullets and bombs used by the rulers to suppress such voices. The killing of Gauri Lankesh in India and the murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia are therefore linked by a common thread that connects them- the spirit to swim against the current, the courage to call a spade, a spade. The arrest and legal harassment of Daphne Caruana Galizia are similar to what Rohini Singh and many other journalists face for exposing corruption and nepotism at the highest echelons of power
As these incredible and courageous journalists like Daphne Caruana Galizia or Gauri Lankesh who happened to be women and therefore were victims of gender bias and gender-abusive trolling as well, are killed with impunity by those who want to preserve everything that these journalists stood against, it becomes evident that the present world order will not let the remnants of free voice and press to exist for long and it’s just a matter of hours, if not days, that the next victim will fall prey to the bullets or bombs of the empire’s assassin. It’s not a long wait to see the very system, which the liberals call perfect and just but with some glitches, will unveil its grotesque face to the world, expose its monstrous traits and thereby prove that it cannot be fixed but needs a real revolutionary change. Daphne Caruana Galizia wasn’t an advocate of a revolutionary change, she was a liberal, an inquisitive and critical liberal. But through her tragic death, she reinforced the fact that the notion of a “liberal-democratic” state that celebrates capitalism is dead and the only thing that now rules us, through cronyism and corruption is the fascist and mafia state.
Women journalists are actually fighting the war against fascism in various countries, many of them are fearlessly exposing the filthy nexus between the corporate world and the governments of various countries, from the despotic countries to those that call themselves the champions of democracy and pluralism. The crisis-ridden international monopoly and finance capital cannot accept criticism anymore, it’s in dire need of mass subjugation and thus it’s sponsoring the march of the fascist forces throughout the world. The killing of journalists goes unbridled and the governments of all countries remain complicit in the crime. No one claims responsibility, but the people know it all.
Throughout Malta, the people said Je suis Galizia, following the slogan raised by the French people following the ISIS attack on Charlie Hebdo magazine office in Paris. The cause of the free press and the critical voice within the media is not going to die with Daphne Caruana Galizia, but many new warriors of truth will join the frontier to fight against injustice, corruption and to highlight the failures of the system. The mafia state, the fascist enterprise cannot muffle and gag every critical voice, but will soon face the wrath of the people throughout the world, thanks to the valour of the exceptional independent and critical journalists. Daphne Caruana Galizia shall rest in power, while her unfinished task will be carried forward by scores of others. Let the rulers shiver with fear, let them employ all the dirtiest tricks to curtail the free press and then taste failure at every nook and corner.
Editorial desk of People's Review provides you the editorial view point and also shares the outlook of the collective wisdom that manages the publication. Send letters to the editor at: Write2us@peoplesreview.in