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‘I Was Nine Years Old The First Time Our Front Door Was Set On Fire’ – Matthew Caruana Galizia Speaks Out At The People’s Tribunal On The Murder of Journalists

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Matthew Caruana Galizia, the son of Daphne Caruana Galizia, has described how the threats and harassment faced by his mother over the years left their mark on him and inspired him to pursue a career in journalism.

Caruana Galizia was part of a panel discussion at the People’s Tribunal on the Murder of Journalists, last night in The Hague, in the Netherlands.

The tribunal is spearheaded by the Free Press Unlimited, the Committee to Protect Journalists, and Reporters Without Borders.

Caruana Galizia spoke about how his mother’s life had inspired him to make the change from software engineering to journalism.

He also described how the hardships faced by his mother when he was growing up had shaped his upbringing.

“As I was growing up, her experiences hardened me, because I thought of threats and harassment as being normal,” Caruana Galizia said. 

“I was only nine years old when the front door of our house was set on fire.”

Caruana Galizia described his family’s fight for justice for his mother since her assassination and how four years on, Malta was still talking about the investigation and still fighting for justice.

Caruana Galizia stressed that journalists in Europe don’t normally have to deal with the level of harassment and threats experienced by his mother here in Malta.

He described how his work back when he formed part of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) had coincided with that of his mother, who was investigating high-level corruption in Malta.

Caruana Galizia said that it was at the height of his mother’s investigative work when she had accumulated some of her best sources, that she was murdered.

“Around 2015-2017 that is when our work together accelerated, and it was at the height of that work that she was murdered. At that moment I knew that the murder was a direct result of her investigative work.” 

Caruana Galizia went on to explain the hardships he and his family have faced since the murder, especially when it comes to the various court cases they have continued to follow and actively participate in.

He also touched upon the work of Forbidden Stories – the consortium behind the Daphne Project and the Pegasus Project. The latter project delved into how the Israel-based NSO group had provided governments and companies across the globe with technology to spy on journalists and activists.

The journalists behind Pegasus Project were the winners of the first-ever Daphne Caruana Galizia Prize for Journalism, awarded by the European Parliament last month.

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Fran is the Newsroom Administrator at Lovin Malta, with a penchant for catching flights, going on new adventures, and reading good books. Reach out to her at [email protected]

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