The World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (WAN-IFRA) and the World Editors Forum (WEF) have condemned a car bomb attack in Malta on Monday, 16 October, in which investigative journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia lost her life.
Ms Galizia was travelling home on Monday afternoon when a huge explosion blew her car into several pieces and scattered debris off the road. Police have yet to identify her body.
Ms Galizia, who was known for exposing corruption in Malta, published her work on the Running Commentary blog. She was part of the collaborative Panama Papers investigation and had been relentless at exposing corruption in Malta's political circles – including Malta’s prime minister, Joseph Muscat, in a story connecting offshore companies linked to the sale of Maltese passports and payments from the government of Azerbaijan.
She had recently reported receiving death threats and died on Monday within half-an-hour of posting her final blog.
Prior to running her blog, Ms Galizia worked for The Sunday Times of Malta and The Malta Independent. But it was Running Commentary that made her widely known, becoming one of the most read websites in Malta. Her hard-hitting journalism meant she was involved in a number of legal battles and in 2016, Politico named her as one of “28 people who are shaping, shaking and stirring Europe.”
The news from Malta came in the same week that a massive truck bomb claimed the life of at least one journalist and injured at least five others, following an explosion in the Somali capital, Mogadishu. Freelance video-reporter Ali Nur Siad-Ahmed was killed in the explosion alongside at least 260 others, with over 300 left injured in what has been described as Somalia’s most deadly terrorist attack.
2017 has been yet another deadly year for journalists. This week’s tragedies are yet to be reflected in the number of deaths tracked by the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ). But prior to the bombings, 27 journalists’ deaths had already been recorded in 2017. Nine of those were murdered; four in Mexico. In 2016, of the 48 journalists who died, 18 were murdered.