The murder of blogger Daphne Caruana Galizia last October was not only a tragedy for her family and a slur on Malta's reputation but it was a shining example of the impunity facing Europe, whistleblower Julian Assange told the European Parliament on Tuesday.

Speaking by Skype from London, where the man behind Wikileaks has been in asylum for five years, Mr Assange said that there were specific things to focus such as an end to impunity, including censorship and extra-judicial detention. He called for a pragmatic view of how a Whistleblower Act could be skirted by those in power - which meant countries should be open to offering asylum to whistleblowers, activists and even politicians. He made a plea to stop cross-border censorship, stressing that attempts to control data transfer on the pretext of reducing peer-to-peer piracy should be carefully looked at. He also called for anti-trust legislation to ensure that media and telecommunications companies did not grow so big that they could act with impunity.

He was speaking during a discussion with the theme 'Safety for journalists, whistleblowers'. organised by a group within the European Parliament in Brussels.

The discussion, organised by the European United Left/Nordic Green Left was held in honour of the slain journalist, and was addressed by her son Andrew.

Reporters without Frontiers pointed out that her death was one of only four journalists' in EU member states in the past 10 years, putting that in the context of 65 killed across the world in 2017, with 315 journalists in prison and 54 held hostage.

The main call of the debate was for a whistleblower act to be adopted across Europe, as recommended last December but held up by lack of agreement.

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