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Daphne Caruana Galizia Foundation nominated for European Citizen’s Prize

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Quaestor David Casa addressing an event honouring Daphne Caruana Galizia at the European Parliament

The Daphne Caruana Galizia Foundation has been nominated for the prestigious European Citizen’s Prize.

MEP David Casa nominated the Foundation and hailed it for its work promoting the rule of law, fighting for justice, and striving toward ending impunity.

“The Daphne Caruana Galizia Foundation has been on the frontline against state corruption,” Casa said. “Its work in securing access to information and realising fundamental rights through advocacy for better governance has been unparalleled and necessary.

“It has been a trailblazer for civil society capacity-building during a period in our history when civil society played a vital role.”

It was nominated for promoting the core rights enshrined in the Charter on Fundamental Freedoms. It does so through awareness-raising, capacity-building, and litigation aimed at instituting change.

“The assassination of Daphne Caruana Galizia shocked the world. For Malta, it exposed glaring flaws in the way it was governed, in the way its institutions were undermined, and in how the rule of law was eroded.”

The Foundation’s work is vital in promoting European values, and serves to defend and promote human rights and the rule of law.

“These are essential principles, without which we would cease to be a democracy.”

Casa explained that the Daphne Caruana Galizia Foundation was a project that mobilised lawyers, activists and journalists to directly challenge the Maltese Government where it exceeded its powers, and works actively to restore the rule of law through all the mechanisms and tools available.

In September, the Foundation announced the Public Interest Litigation Network (PILN), Malta’s first-ever access to justice initiative, composed of lawyers and law firms offering legal representation to victims of discrimination, human rights violations, abuse of power and state collusion in criminal activity.

The PILN’s scope is to create legal precedents to improve the good governance and human rights credentials of Malta, and to curtail abusive action by the state through legal action.     

The Foundation set up the Malta Investigative Journalism Centre (MIJC), a collaborative platform, to train and equip independent journalists with the tools to investigate public interest stories. It launched last April, with the initial publication of the Passport Papers, a joint investigation into Malta’s sale of passports as a legalised transaction.

The Daphne Caruana Galizia Foundation was founded by the family of the late investigative journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia after her assassination in 2017, to ensure effective justice for her murder, to safeguard her work, and to strengthen civil society and the media.

After two years of advocacy and legal battles, an independent, public inquiry into the circumstances of Daphne’s murder was set up. It found that her murder was both predictable and preventable and that the Maltese state must shoulder responsibility for creating a culture of corruption and impunity that enabled her assassination.

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