We do not know why Daphne Caruana Galizia was assassinated. What we know is that her killers wanted her silenced and were not afraid to show it.
They didn’t make her death seem accidental. She didn’t go missing in the dead of night. They blew her up in a car bomb in broad daylight. They did it for maximum impact and chaos. They wanted to send a message: to her family, to other journalists, to police officers, to politicians, to all Maltese citizens and possibly to the rest of the world.
The message is clear for all to read: don’t mess with us or we’ll blow you up. Unfortunately, we do not know who is sending this message. By remaining anonymous, her killers have created two of the scariest types of fear: fear of the unknown and fear of one another.
As journalists, and as members of civil society, we must respond to this message. We must reply in unison, more loudly than we have ever spoken before.
Firstly, we must show we are not afraid and we will stop at nothing to expose Caruana Galizia’s killers, even if we fear for our own lives. We must show them that we are all ready to sacrifice everything to expose the truth they wanted suppressed. After all, why live in a world controlled by people who kill journalists with car bombs?
Secondly, we must use our journalistic abilities to remind the Maltese people that we are not each other’s enemies. Yes, there are people of dubious character across the political, institutional and social spectrum. And we cannot let up the fight to bring about the systemic changes that are required in this country. But we cannot lose ourselves in prejudices, hatred and mistrust of one another.
Photos: Darrin Zammit Lupi
This black event in Malta’s history will not be forgotten any time soon. There are many long-term measures it must inspire: changes to the Constitution to ensure stronger institutions, better protection of journalists against bullying tactics, stronger defence of freedom of speech, an overhaul of the police force…
All of these are crucial, regardless of the outcome of this murder investigation.
But before we can discuss any of these things we must unite against fear. We must make a commitment as a country to get to the bottom of this hideous crime and expose the truth.
This is not about Daphne Caruana Galizia anymore. Neither is it about her killers. It is about the unthinkable truth they were trying to suppress.
Today we must show the world that we will unite and do everything in our power to bring about the very opposite of what Caruana Galizia’s killers wanted to achieve. Not fear. Not chaos. Truth.
Now the world is watching. Now the stakes are even higher. Now everyone is investigating.
Today let’s fill Caruana Galizia’s killers with fear. Let’s march together like we’ve never marched before. Even if the killer is marching among us, we must make them tremble with fear.
This is not the end. This is just the beginning. And we will overcome.