The Constitutional Court ruled that minister Owen Bonnici breached Manuel Delia’s fundamental human right to free expression when he (Bonnici) ordered the removal of flowers, candles and messages of protest that Delia placed at the foot of the Great Siege monument in Valletta as part of the campaign for truth and justice for Daphne Caruana Galizia.
Manuel Delia filed the protest in his name out of legal necessity, but had every protester who ever placed a candle, a flower a photo, a picture or a message at the foot of the monument filed the same case, they would have received the same judgement.
The Labour Party spin machine is working at full capacity to downplay the ruling, so let’s make sure that no-one loses sight of what the one and only point is:
Owen Bonnici breached human rights.
The rights of several people for several times.
He did this with the full blessing of the then Prime Minister Joseph Muscat.
He did this with the full blessing of Joseph Muscat’s cabinet, which was made up of pretty much the same people who are in Robert Abela’s current cabinet.
Abela says that he wants to set a new standard of governance. But he can never make it happen. Nor does he want to.
I was happy to find out that you “tolerate” protests. Your democratic credentials are second to none.
It gives me much peace of mind and serenity to know that you are aware that the right to protest is a human right arising out of a number of recognised human rights such as the right to freedom of assembly, the right to freedom of association, and the right to freedom of speech.
This excerpt from article19.org supports your benevolent tolerance of protests for which I am sure the whole Maltese nation is so grateful for:
The right of all people to express their ideas and opinions through the medium of protest, in any form, is guaranteed through a number of core international human rights provisions, including the right to free expression. Protests are an essential way for individuals to express dissent and grievances, to share views and opinions, to expose flaws in governance and to publicly demand that the authorities and other powerful entities are accountable for their actions. Protests provide people with an opportunity to have a say in public life.
They have historically inspired positive social change and improved protection of human rights. They continue to form an essential part of public debate and expression in all parts of the world and can take many forms both in the physical and online space. Yet governments around the world too often treat protests as either an inconvenience to be controlled or a threat to be extinguished. Despite their obligations to promote, protect and respect the right to protest, governments frequently use excessive force, arbitrary arrest and detention and other forms of intimidation and harassment to prevent or crack down on protest rights, particularly those critical of government actions.
Given the above, I do hope to see you protesting against the stench of corruption at Castille, and the poor governance shown by this government, one example of which could potentially be the inordinate amount of direct orders your law firm receives from government ministries, departments and agencies on a regular basis.
Sarah Clarke, Head of Europe and Central Asia for international human rights organisation Article 19, compared Maltese Prime Minister Joseph Muscat’s interference with the criminal investigation and public inquiry into the assassination of Daphne Caruana Galizia to that of the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia in the assassination of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi The Shift News reported.
Jamal Khashoggi, Saudi Arabia’s best-known journalist, wrote columns critical of Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) in the Washington Post.
He walked into the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on the 2 October 2018 where he had an appointment to collect documents he needed for his forthcoming marriage. He never walked out.
He was brutally slain a few minutes after he walked into the consulate by a 15-man Saudi hit squad who had been flown in two hours prior. He was drugged and asphyxiated, then dismembered and stuffed into bags. His body was never recovered.
Saudi authorities offered a number of very different narratives of what happened to Khashoggi.
First they said Khashoggi had left the consulate by the back door.
Then they said that a fist fight had broken out in the consulate and that Khashoggi died in the punch-up.
The third Saudi lie about the assassination was that it was a rogue operation.
But recorded excerpts of conversation between the key hit men show clearly that the assassination was premeditated and also that there was state involvement in the assassination as well as the subsequent botched cover-up.
Agnes Callamard, the United Nation’s extrajudicial investigator into the murder said in her report that she “determined that there is credible evidence, warranting further investigation of high-level Saudi officials’ individual liability, including the crown prince’s”.
The same words can be said of Daphne Caruana Galizia’s assassination and the investigation into it. All one needs to do is replace “Saudi” with “Malta” and “crown prince” with “prime minister”.
Agnes Callamard’s damning report on the assassination of Jamal Khashoggi bears several striking points of resemblance to the report on the assassination of Daphne Caruana Galizia drawn up by Mr Pieter Omtzigt and adopted by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE). Omtzigt is the Council of Europe rapporteur on the assassination of Daphne Caruana Galizia and the rule of law in Malta.
There are an astounding number of similarities in the way the states in both cases operated to cover up several aspects of the assassination including the possible involvement of officials in the highest echelons of government and to hinder the course of justice.
The Caruana Galizia case was assigned to a police official who clearly should never have been involved in the case, as both he and his wife were the subject of Caruana Galizia’s investigations and writings; the police investigation was found to be in breach of human rights by the courts.
There is a marked and highly suspicious reluctance by the police commissioner and the attorney general to do their job and duty without fear and favour where people in the higher echelons of the government and/or the Labour party are concerned. As Sarah Clarke put it:
The testimony given by the mastermind/one of the masterminds of Caruana Galizia’s assassination Yorgen Fenech, that given by middleman Melvin Theuma and the opening statement given by the Caruana Galizia family in the public inquiry clearly indicate a possible involvement of the then prime minister’s chief of staff Keith Schembri in some, if not all, of the aspects of Caruana Galizia’s assassination, and of his trading in influence to help those involved in the assassination evade justice.
Joseph Muscat by his own admission meddled in the investigation. He has protected Keith Schembri for several years. Schembri is being implicated in the assassination of Daphne Caruana Galizia, in its cover-up, and has been implicated in corruption and bribery for a long time.
The calls for Muscat to resign or be removed must become louder and louder. The calls for Muscat to be hauled in by the police and investigated must become louder and louder.
They must not stop till justice is done and corruption eradicated from Castille.
I encourage people to attend tomorrow’s national protest.