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The rot is everywhere

The social media is full of bile and hatred

Daphne Caruana Galizia was murdered in a car bomb on October 16. Photo: Mark Zammit Cordina

Daphne Caruana Galizia was murdered in a car bomb on October 16. Photo: Mark Zammit Cordina

They say that everyone who lived through the assassination of John F Kennedy remembers exactly where they were the minute they were told of the shooting.

People reacted in the same way when they heard about the horror of the twin towers on September 11.

My worst memory will forever be the moment I heard of the assassination of Daphne Caruana Galizia: our very own national bloodied day.

That day changed me; that day I realised life as we knew it will never be the same.

When the horror hit the island I decided there and then to stop reading the poisoned pens of people like Glenn Bedingfield. I have also stopped seeing, when I can control my curiosity, all online comments by the deranged majority of people living in Malta.

I needed a clean break. I did not want to see the garbage being spouted.
Was I, in my own little way, being an opponent of the divine right to state your mind? Was I, in my own bubble, hindering and censoring other points of view?

Stretch the argument - is it right to stop the dissemination of words spouted by Nazi sympathisers or even racist literature?

Isn't doing this in its own ironical way a limitation of free speech which we, who espouse democracy so strongly fight for?

With these doubts swirling in my mind I still censored some of the barrage written against Daphne.

What spite and inhumanity can make people think, let alone say, such things about grieving sons?

But an article about the American University of Malta purchasing a hostel in Tarxien for €2.5 million intrigued me enough to make me read the comments underneath, hoping to learn more about the purchase.

My aim not to see horrible words was defeated and lo and behold there lurked this gem (not in this online portal):
“By the way, ma smajna xejn minghand ir-reporters Maltin ta kif marru t-three stooges ta Caruana Galizia gewwa Strasbourg? Magbin kemm jiehdu pjacir meta isiefru u jiehdu vaganza on the house !!!!” (liberally translated as: By the way we haven’t heard anything from the Maltese reporters about how the three Caruana Galizia stooges got on in Strasbourg. People say they really enjoy going abroad and bumming a holiday on the house)

This was answered by: “Sabu l ommhom forsi!” (Maybe they found their mother!)

What spite and inhumanity can make people think, let alone say, such things about grieving sons? The social media - and people in general - are full of this bile. I was shaking after reading these words, not because such hatred exists, but because most people reason like this.

Most people in Malta - from the prime minister and his lapdog minister of justice - still treat this murder, this brutal assassination of a woman, as just that: just a woman dead and let’s move on.

It goes way beyond this. Daphne was a journalist, most probably the only journalist, uncovering material we need to truly be a democracy.

Had she been one of a legion of other investigative journalists exposing the authorities’ nefarious ways it would nonetheless have been a horrific attack on freedom of speech. But that she carried the can of uncovering these truths alone makes the crime disastrous for our country.

That she was harassed, attacked and everything was done to stop her from continuing her work by people in government is scandalous. Maybe the state did not push the horrid phone buttons that set off the bomb, but their hands are bloodied by encouraging the harassment, the continuous attacks against Daphne, rather than protecting her.

Rule of law is not measured by the many enacted laws. Our liberty is at stake. This might be a plea ignored by many, a rant I will keep repeating till I die, till the lie that all is normal will stop being promulgated and believed.

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