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04 Oct 2019 Lvl. 1
State replied
Alert created on: 17 Oct 2017 n° 121/2017 Malta

Investigative Journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia Killed by Car Bomb

Source of threatUnknown
CategoryAttacks on physical safety and integrity of journalists
Partner EFJ/IFJ Article 19 AEJ Index IPI RSF
Partner EFJ/IFJ Article 19 AEJ Index IPI RSF
Maltese investigative journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia has been murdered on 16 October 2017, around 3pm, by a car bomb in the town of Bidnija, near her family home. Daphne Caruana Galizia, 53, was known for her investigative journalism and her blog 'Running Commentary', which was one of the most widely read websites in Malta. In 2016, she was named by Politico as one of the “28 people who are shaping, shaking and stirring Europe”, after being the first to break news of Maltese politicians’ involvement in the Panama Papers scandal.

The journalist had been sued many times for her blog posts in which she revealed several alleged corruption scandals involving Maltese politicians. In February 2017, her bank accounts were frozen and libel suits were filed against her by Maltese Economy Minister and his consultant, following a report revealing that both men visited a brothel during an official trip in Germany.

According to media report, Daphne Caruana Galizia had filed a police report 15 days before her death saying she was being threatened.
Updates
New 23 Sep 2019
On 20 September 2019, the Maltese government ordered a public inquiry into the murder of journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia, following up on a June 2019 PACE resolution demanding the setting up of an independent public inquiry into her death within three months.
17 Jul 2019
On 16 July 2019, three suspects were formally charged over the murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia. Brothers Alfred and George Degiorgio, as well as Vince Muscat, were arrested in December 2017. The public prosecutor now has 20 months to set a date for the trial.
12 Jul 2019
On 11 July 2019, at the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s Global Media Freedom conference in London, the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Malta Carmelo Abela, responding to the demand of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe to set up an independent public inquiry into the murder of journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia, confirmed that the government will open such an inquiry within the next three months.
06 Dec 2017
On 4 December 2017 the Maltese police arrested ten suspects over the murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia. On 5 December, three of them were charged with the journalist`s murder, as well as with criminal use of explosives, being involved in organised crime, and criminal conspiracy.
State replies
17 Oct 2017
Follow-ups
04 Oct 2019
New PACE Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights invites the Maltese authorities to address the issues raised by Rapporteur Pieter Omtzigt concerning the terms of reference for the independent public inquiry as a matter of urgency.
04 Oct 2019
New PACE Rapporteur considers that "Daphne Caruana Galizia inquiry in Malta ‘does not meet the Assembly’s expectations’ ". Statement by Pieter Omtzigt
23 Sep 2019
New PACE rapporteur on the assassination of Daphne Caruana Galizia and the rule of law in Malta welcomes decision to set up inquiry into the assassination of Daphne Caruana Galizia.
23 Sep 2019
New Public inquiry into death of Daphne Caruana Galizia in Malta must be fully independent and yield justice, states OSCE Media Freedom Representative.
27 Jun 2019
On 26 June 2019, PACE adopted the resolution on Daphne Caruana Galizia’s assassination and demanded the setting up of an independent public inquiry into her death within three months.
27 Jun 2018
Pieter Omtzigt, who is preparing a report for the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) on the investigation into the assassination of Daphne Caruana Galizia and the rule of law in Malta, has been authorised by PACE’s Legal Affairs Committee to receive information from anonymous sources and to protect the identity of anyone who provides such information.
24 Apr 2018
PACE to monitor investigation into the assassination of Daphne Caruana Galizia
25 Jan 2018
PACE adopts a motion for a resolution 'Daphne Caruana Galizia’s assassination and the rule of law, in Malta and beyond: ensuring that the whole truth emerges'
25 Jan 2018
PACE appointed General Rapporteur on Media Freedom & the protection of journalists will make his first inquiry into the murder of Maltese journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia.
18 Oct 2017
APCE president strongly condemns the murder of Maltese journalist Daphne Caruana
17 Oct 2017
Shocked by the murder of journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia, the Commissioner for Human Rights calls on authorities to thoroughly investigate the case.
17 Oct 2017
CoE Secretary General appalled by the brutal death of Maltese journalist and blogger Daphne Caruana Galizia, in a car bombing, calls for a thorough investigation to find those responsible for her death.
17 Oct 2017
OSCE media freedom representative outraged by killing of prominent journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia in Malta, urges thorough investigation'
Relevant CoE instruments Disclaimer
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06 Dec 2018 Lvl. 1
Resolved
Alert created on: 25 Aug 2017 n° 89/2017 Denmark

Journalist Kim Wall Killed on a Civilian Submarine

Source of threatNon-state
CategoryAttacks on physical safety and integrity of journalists
Partner EFJ/IFJ CPJ Index RSF
Partner EFJ/IFJ CPJ Index RSF
Freelance journalist Kim Wall (30) was reported missing on 10 August 2017 after she failed to return from a trip aboard a Danish civilian midjet submarine, the US3 Nautilus, with its inventor Peter Langkjær Madsen. The journalist was interviewing the Danish submarine builder for a feature at a time of her disappearance.

Mr Madsen was arrested on 12 August under the suspicion of causing Wall's death in connection with her disappearance. After initially claiming he had dropped her safely near Copenhagen, later reportedly told investigators that she had died in accident and he had buried her at sea.

On 23 August, 2017 the Danish police identified a headless torso found off the waters of Copenhagen as Kim Wall confirming the death of the journalist. Kim Wall, a graduate from Columbia University’s school of journalism, had worked for many news organisations including the Guardian, the New York Times and the South China Morning Post.
Resolved
06 Dec 2018: In September 2018, the High Court of Eastern Denmark upheld the life sentence given to Peter Madsen for murdering the Swedish journalist Kim Wall in August 2017. On 6 December 2018, the partner organisations to the Platform declared this case to be “resolved”, concluding it was no longer an active threat to media freedom.
Updates
27 Sep 2018
On 26 September 2018, Peter Madsen lost his appeal against his life sentence. Appeals courts judges sided with the earlier decision, saying the case was one of "unusual brutality".
25 Apr 2018
On 25 April 2018, Peter Madsen was sentenced to life for murdering journalist Kim Wall.
24 Jan 2018
On 16 January 2018 Peter Madsen was formally charged by the Danish prosecution with premeditated killing, sexual assault and improper handling of a body. The trial is scheduled to start in Copenhagen on 8 March.
Follow-ups
25 Aug 2017
Killing of Swedish journalist Kim Wall points at threats faced by journalists, OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media says.
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29 May 2017 Lvl. 1
No state reply yet
Alert created on: 29 May 2017 n° 61/2017 Russian Federation

Editor-in-Chief of Local Newspaper Shot Dead

Source of threatUnknown
CategoryAttacks on physical safety and integrity of journalists
Partner Index Article 19 AEJ CPJ EFJ/IFJ INSI RSF
No state reply yet
Partner Index Article 19 AEJ CPJ EFJ/IFJ INSI RSF
Dmitri Popkov, editor-in-chief and founder of local newspaper Ton-M, was shot dead in the town of Minusinsk in the Krasnodarski province on 24 May, 2017. The Regional Investigative Committee reported that Popkov was shot five times by an unidentified perpetrator. His body was found in the sauna in his backyard.
Popkov is well known in his region since he became a regional parliament deputy for the Communist Party. The Moscow times reported that Popkov founded the publication after he was stripped of his position on Minusinsk City Council in 2012, when a court found him guilty of beating a child. Popkvov has maintained his innocence, claiming that the case was an excuse to fire him. He also funds the newspaper he edits, whose investigations, including on police corruption, have garnered significant public attention. According to RFE/RL, in one of his interviews, Popkov claimed his newspaper became “an obstacle” for local officials who are now “threatening and intimidating journalists”.
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03 May 2017 Lvl. 1
No state reply yet
Alert created on: 03 May 2017 n° 49/2017 Turkey

Founder and Chairman of the Iranian GEM TV Company Shot Dead

Source of threatUnknown
CategoryImpunity for murder
Partner EFJ/IFJ AEJ
No state reply yet
Partner EFJ/IFJ AEJ
On 29 April 2017, Saaed Karimian, the founder and chairman of the Persian-language GEM TV company, and his business partner were shot dead in the Maslak neighbourhood in Istanbul by masked individuals who opened fire on their vehicle. The Turkish police opened an investigation. The vehicle and the gun used in the assassination were later found burnt.
GEM TV is known for its entertainment satellite channels that dub foreign films and Western television programs into Farsi for Iranians. The TV has been criticised by Iran for “showing programmes that go against Islamic values” and has been accused of spreading Western culture.The TV is officially banned in Iran but is popular inside the country for movies and Turkish TV shows dubbed into Farsi.
In 2016, a Revolutionary Court in Tehran tried Karimian in absentia and sentenced him to six years in jail on charges of “acting against national security” and “propaganda against the state.”
According to his relatives, Mr Karimian had been threatened by the Iranian regime and was planning to move to London over these threats.
Updates
11 Jun 2019
On 11 June 2019, the partner organisations of the platform decided to transfer this alert to the category of ‘impunity for murder’, based on their assessment of the lack of sufficient progress in the investigation of this case.
16 Oct 2018
On 11 October 2018, an Istanbul court released Zindaşti on the grounds that there was no sufficient material evidence to link him to the murder of Saeed Karimian. He remains however under judicial control, with an international travel ban.
08 Jun 2018
In April 2018, according to press reports, new elements emerged in the investigation of Naci Sharif Zindaşti, an Iranian drug smuggler who was captured with his 9 men in Istanbul and was questioned for his activities in various crime areas ranging from drug smuggling to murder. It was determined that Zindaşti was the instigator of the murder of Iranian-born British Saeed Karimian, owner of GEM TV.
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20 Apr 2017 Lvl. 1
No state reply yet
Alert created on: 20 Apr 2017 n° 44/2017 Russian Federation

Investigative Journalist Dies Following Two Brutal Assaults

Source of threatUnknown
CategoryAttacks on physical safety and integrity of journalists
Partner Index AEJ CPJ EFJ/IFJ INSI RSF
No state reply yet
Partner Index AEJ CPJ EFJ/IFJ INSI RSF
Nikolay Andruschenko, founder and investigative correspondent for weekly newspaper Novyi Petersburg died on 19 April 2017 as a result of injuries. According to the director of Novyi Peterburg, Alevtina Ageyeva, the journalist was assaulted twice in March 2017. Two unknown individuals approached him near his house and demanded he give them documents and materials from his on-going investigation on the abuse of power by police officers. After the journalist refused, they hit him several times in the head and ran away. The last assault occurred on the evening of 9 March. The journalist was found unconscious with a brain injury near his apartment. An investigation was started by the police. Ageyeva said she doubted the police would properly investigate the case as Andruschenko conducted investigations into corruption, abuse of power and torture by the St Petersburg’s police. She is convinced both assaults are related to Andruschenko’s professional journalist activity. Andruschenko’s wife stressed nothing was stolen from the journalist during the assault.
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20 March 2018

On 20 March 2018, the European Court of Human Rights issued its Grand chamber judgment on Mehmet Altan’s case. The Court found there had been a violation of Article 5 § 1 (right to liberty and security) and a violation of Article 10 (freedom of expression) of the European Convention for Human Rights. With regards to article 5 §1, according to the Court findings, “Mr Altan’s continued pre-trial detention, after the Constitutional Court’s clear and unambiguous judgment of 11 January 2018 (…), could not be regarded as ‘lawful’ ”. The Court held that “for another court to call into question the powers conferred on a constitutional court to give final and binding judgments on individual applications ran counter to the fundamental principles of the rule of law and legal certainty, which (…) were the cornerstones of the guarantees against arbitrariness”. Under Article 10, the Court held in particular that “there was no reason to reach a different conclusion from that of the Constitutional Court, which had found that Mr Altan’s initial and continued pre-trial detention, following his expression of his opinions, constituted a severe measure that could not be regarded as a necessary and proportionate interference in a democratic society”. The Court pointed out in particular that “criticism of governments and publication of information regarded by a country’s leaders as endangering national interests should not attract criminal charges for particularly serious offences such as belonging to or assisting a terrorist organisation, attempting to overthrow the government or the constitutional order or disseminating terrorist propaganda”.

20 March 2018

On 20 March 2018, the European Court of Human Rights issued its Grand chamber judgment on Şahin Alpay’s case. The Court found there had been a violation of Article 5 § 1 (right to liberty and security) and a violation of Article 10 (freedom of expression) of the European Convention for Human Rights. With regards to article 5 §1, according to the Court findings, “Mr Alpay’s continued pre-trial detention, after the Constitutional Court’s clear and unambiguous judgment of 11 January 2018 (…), could not be regarded as ‘lawful’ ”. The Court held that “for another court to call into question the powers conferred on a constitutional court to give final and binding judgments on individual applications ran counter to the fundamental principles of the rule of law and legal certainty, which (…) were the cornerstones of the guarantees against arbitrariness”. Under Article 46 (binding force and execution of judgments) of the Convention, the Court held that it was incumbent on the respondent State to ensure the termination of Mr Alpay’s pre-tria detention at the earliest possible date. Under Article 10, the Court held in particular that “there was no reason to reach a different conclusion from that of the Constitutional Court, which had found that Mr Alpay’s initial and continued pre-trial detention, following his expression of his opinions, constituted a severe measure that could not be regarded as a necessary and proportionate interference in a democratic society”. The Court pointed out in particular that “criticism of governments and publication of information regarded by a country’s leaders as endangering national interests should not attract criminal charges for particularly serious offences such as belonging to or assisting a terrorist organisation, attempting to overthrow the government or the constitutional order or disseminating terrorist propaganda”.
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