Connect with us

Global Affairs

Malta responsible for journalist’s death, inquiry finds

Voice Of EU

Published

on

The Maltese state was responsible for the death of investigative journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia, according to an independent inquiry.

The finding was part of a 437-page report published Thursday (29 July), prepared by a panel of judges.

  • The report highlighted a culture of impunity, enabled under the leadership of former prime minister Joseph Muscat (Photo: eu2017mt/Flickr)

It highlighted a culture of impunity, enabled under the leadership of former prime minister Joseph Muscat.

“The state should shoulder responsibility for the assassination,” said the report.

It detailed how the state had created “an atmosphere of impunity”, which then spread to other institutions leading to a collapse in the rule of law.

Caruana Galizia was killed by a car bomb in October 2017, following years of hard-hitting reporting on corruption on her Running Commentary blog.

That included allegations linking Muscat to the Panama Papers, a media probe that exposed tax havens used by the wealthy.

At the time of her killing, she was investigating an Electrogas energy deal.

Her death sparked outrage in Malta and abroad and eventually led to Muscat’s resignation in early 2020, who once described her as “the only opposition in the country.”

Muscat, for his part, accepted but also cast doubt on the findings.

Although the report did not offer any proof of direct government involvement in her death, it did say it contributed by creating a “favourable climate” for her elimination.

“Whoever planned and carried out the assassination did so in the knowledge they would be protected by those who had an interest in silencing the journalist,” said the report.

It also said the state had created an “unwarranted closeness” between the government and big business.

It said the state had “failed to recognise the real and immediate risks” to her life and neglected to act for her protection.

The report and its findings are a separate process from the ongoing criminal case.

“It remains extremely important to closely monitor the ongoing criminal proceedings,” said the Paris-based NGO, Reporters without Borders (RSF), in a statement.

One of the three men accused of murdering Caruana Galizia was earlier this year sentenced to 15 years in jail.

Others have yet to go to trial, including Maltese businessman Yorgen Fenech who was caught trying to flee Malta on a yacht.

Prosecutors says Fenech, who had close government ties, masterminded the murder plot. He has denied any wrongdoing.

Caruana Galizia’s family issued a statement, welcoming the findings of the report.

“Her assassination was a direct result of the collapse of the rule of law and the impunity that the state provided to the corrupt network she was reporting on,” they said.

Since Caruana Galizia’s assassination, Malta has fallen 34 places in RSF’s World Press Freedom Index. It currently ranks 81st out of 180 countries.

Source link

Global Affairs

El Salvador ‘responsible for death of woman jailed after miscarriage’ | Global development

Voice Of EU

Published

on

The Inter-American court of human rights has ruled that El Salvador was responsible for the death of Manuela, a woman who was jailed in 2008 for killing her baby when she suffered a miscarriage.

The court has ordered the Central American country to reform its draconian policies on reproductive health.

The decision on Tuesday marked the first time an international court has ruled on El Salvador’s extreme abortion laws and was celebrated by women’s rights activists, who believe it could open doors for change across the region.

Since 1998, abortion in El Salvador has been banned without exception, even in cases of rape and incest. Over the past two decades, more than 180 women have been jailed for murder for having an abortion after suffering obstetric emergencies, according to rights groups.

The case of Manuela v El Salvador was brought after the 33-year-old mother of two from the countryside died from cancer after receiving inadequate medical diagnosis and treatment, leaving her two children orphaned. She had been serving a 30-year prison sentence for aggravated homicide after a miscarriage.

When Manuela – whose full name has never been made public in El Salvador – went to the hospital after miscarrying, staff failed to provide her with timely treatment and instead subjected her to verbal abuse and accused her of having an abortion, according to the Center for Reproductive Rights. Manuela was handcuffed to her bed and denied access to a lawyer while police interrogated her.

“There is no doubt that Manuela suffered an obstetric emergency,” the landmark court ruling stated. “Such situations, as they are medical conditions, cannot lead to a criminal sanction.”

The court also ruled that the state must pay reparations to Manuela’s family, and should develop comprehensive sexual education policies and guarantee doctor-patient confidentiality.

“The Inter-American court has done justice by recognising Manuela was another victim of an unjust legal context that originates in the absolute prohibition of abortion,” said Morena Herrera, at the Feminist Collective for Local Development, one of the parties in the case supporting Manuela’s family.

“Manuela’s story is a sad one, but it represents a change and becomes a path of justice and hope for all women in Latin America and the Caribbean who are criminalised for obstetric events.”

Most countries in the region respect the Inter-American court’s jurisdiction, opening the door for sweeping change, activists said.

“This is a huge advance for reproductive rights, not only in El Salvador but across Latin America,” said Catalina Martínez Coral, regional director for Latin America and the Caribbean at the Center for Reproductive Rights, another party in the case. “This is a standard we can apply to the constitutions and states across the region.”

Martínez Coral added that while the ruling was to be celebrated, the issue of poverty affecting access to reproductive rights remained a challenge.

“There are over 180 cases of women in jail, or that have been jailed, over these issues,” said Martínez Coral, who also worked as a litigator on the case against the Salvadorean state.

“What that means is we’re dealing with a state that criminalises women and, above all, criminalises poor women in the most rural and impoverished areas,” she said.

Source link

Continue Reading

Global Affairs

EU commission unveils proposal to digitalise justice systems

Voice Of EU

Published

on

The European Commission unveiled on Wednesday a proposal to digitalise EU cross-border justice systems, aiming at making them more accessible and effective. Under the new draft law, the EU executive wants to tackle inefficiencies affecting cross-border judicial cooperation and barriers to access to justice in cross-border cases. Shifting paper-based communications to electronic formats would save up to €25m per year across the EU in postage and paper costs.

Source link

Continue Reading

Global Affairs

Covid limits migration despite more people displaced by war and disasters | Global development

Voice Of EU

Published

on

The coronavirus pandemic had a radical effect on migration, limiting movement despite increasing levels of internal displacement from conflict and climate disasters, the UN’s International Organization for Migration said in a report on Wednesday.

Though the number of people who migrated internationally increased to 281 million in 2020 – 9 million more than before Covid-19 – the number was 2 million lower than expected without a pandemic, according to the report.

“We are witnessing a paradox not seen before in human history,” said IOM director general, António Vitorino. “While billions of people have been effectively grounded by Covid-19, tens of millions of others have been displaced within their own countries.”

Internal displacement caused by violence, conflict and disasters increased to 40.5 million from 31.5 million. Globally, the IOM said governments implemented a total of 108,000 restrictions on international travel, alongside internal restrictions on movement, disrupting migration during the pandemic.

Prior to the report’s release, Vitorino told IOM member states on Monday that international cooperation was needed to ensure people were not stripped of the option of migrating when they needed to.

He also pointed out that people from countries with low levels of vaccination could be excluded from emigrating. “We must acknowledge the deep impacts the Covid-19 pandemic has had for people on the move: people stranded in transit, families separated across borders, migrants left unemployed but unable to afford the return home,” said Vitorino.

“The resulting complex patchwork of measures, frequently changing in scope and application, has placed a chilling effect on cross-border mobility, particularly for those unvaccinated.”

The report said conditions were particularly harsh for people from developing countries working in the Middle East and south-east Asia, with the pandemic affecting their incomes and housing, while they were also often excluded from access to healthcare and welfare.

However, the feared 20% drop in remittances – which can be a key lifeline to poor families during crises – that was predicted by the World Bank in April 2020 did not materialise and had been much lower, at 2.4%. This might be partly related to people being forced to send money to their families through formal routes, the report suggested, because options such as carrying cash were blocked off, as well as many working in jobs on the frontline of the pandemic that continued despite lockdowns.

Source link

Continue Reading

Trending

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates 
directly on your inbox.

You have Successfully Subscribed!