A government employee caught on camera harassing a journalist on Saturday should be investigated and disciplined, Malta’s journalist lobby has said.
The official, who identified himself as a Cleansing Department worker, told a Newsbook journalist to stop filming workers who were taking down a banner honouring Daphne Caruana Galizia. The journalist continued to record, with the man angrily shoving the camera away.
In a statement, the Institute of Maltese Journalists slammed the interference and harassment, noting that it was especially not on for a government employee “who should set an example” to do try and stop journalists from doing their job.
“Unfortunately, this is not the first time that journalists have been harassed or threatened and told to delete footage or photos they had taken,” the IĠM said.
Journalists are legally entitled to shoot video and take photos of public places and events, particularly when doing so is a matter of public interest.
The IĠM called on authorities to investigate the incident, discipline the man responsible and ensure that the event did not repeat itself.
Democratic Party MP Marlene Farrugia said that the incident was proof that the state of affairs in Malta was "worse than the 80s".
Workers eventually removed the banner, only for it to be reattached to hoarding covering the Great Siege memorial monument in Valletta some time later, after activists filed a police report concerning its removal.
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