The government “squanders every opportunity” to remove the concern that it had a hand in Daphne Caruana Galizia’s murder, her sister Corinne Vella has said.

Ms Vella was speaking on a panel after accepting a posthumous award for Ms Caruana Galizia – the Award of the Protection of Journalists – hosted by the Swiss Press Club in Geneva.

Ms Vella said that Ms Caruana Galizia’s murder became conceivable after she was left unprotected by Malta’s institutions.

“We learned through painful experience, that killing Daphne was only the first in a process of silencing her,” Ms Vella said.

“The next step is to kill her legacy, to turn people against her and to harass and menace anyone who tried to commemorate her,” she added.

They effectively blame her for her own death

People in government continued to slander Ms Caruana Galizia, Ms Vella said, noting that the government distorted her work and continued to encourage people to move on.

“They effectively blame her for her own death,” Ms Vella said.

“They say she wrote too critically, or that she should have known better.”

Little has changed in Malta in the months since Ms Caruana Galizia was killed, Ms Vella said, adding that if anything, the situation had become more disturbing.

Government officials could drop their libels, but they are using the courts for revenge and punishment, Ms Vella said.

Ms Caruana Galizia was also honoured in Washington yesterday, after her name was added to the Journalists Memorial.

The soaring, two-storey glass memorial bears the names of 2,323 reporters, editors, photographers and broadcasters who lost their lives reporting the news.

It is located in Newseum, an interactive museum that promotes free expression and traces the evolution of communication.

The Washington museum attracts more than 815,000 visitors a year.

In a statement, Newseum said 17 per cent of the journalists killed on the job in 2017 were women.

“All the journalists recognised on this memorial this year faced unprecedented dangers as they worked to report the news, often in countries where press freedom is imperilled or non-existent,” executive director of the Freedom Forum Institute Cathy Trost said.

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