Well-known poet Immanuel Mifsud addressed the unknown people behind the recent spate of website spoofs at a protest outside Castille today, describing them as “cruel”.
“Whoever you are: you are cruel. You are cruel in the context of the history of this country, a country which has unshackled itself from the issues of censorship,” he said. “You are turning back the clock. If it were up to you, our news websites, newspapers and blogs would be shut down.”
“You are cruel to journalists and those that feel motivated to speak out, even when many choose to remain silent. You are cruel because not only are you trying to gag them, but you are attacking them, you are fabricating stories to intimidate them to such an extent that they feel physically threatened.”
“You are cruel because you are not only hurting those that choose to speak up, but also those who have a right to listen. Instead of erasing the script with a red marker, as the censors used to do in the past to cover up the text, you are engaging in a cruel game to confuse the message we are listening to.”
“You are not erasing the script with a red marker, but you are resorting to lies and calumnies. Among those who are being fooled are people who actually disagree with the journalists you are targetting. You are insulting them with the dirty games you are playing while choosing to hide your faces and identity.”
Mifsud urged the country’s leaders to safeguard freedom of expression and ensure it isn’t taken away by someone “engaging in this cruel game of hide-and-seek”.
“You have a responsibility to carry, not only towards journalists who are being targetted, but also towards the democratic and intellectual development of this country,” he said.
Today’s protest, organised by Repubblika, Occupy Justice and Manuel Delia, was also addressed by Delia himself, as well as Louiselle Vassallo and Robert Aquilina.
Police have confirmed with Lovin Malta that they are investigating whether the recent spate of spoof websites and emails constitutes the crime of harassment.
Did you attend the protest this evening?