Repubblika statement:

This afternoon, a number of people gathered in front of the Great Siege Memorial shouting and threatening a number of activists conducting a peaceful protest by laying flowers and candles in front of the Memorial.

At one point two persons assaulted one of those that was protesting, flung her phone out of her hands, smashed it on the floor and broke it. A police report was filed on this incident at the Valletta Police Station.

One of the two persons can be seen in this film made on the phone snatched by another person who was with her and broken.

Repubblika condemns unreservedly, assault, threats and insults of people who cannot tolerate a peaceful protest on a matter they disagree with. This has now become a daily habit of people who appear to be coordinated and sent to intimidate protesters.

As declared several times before by the police, the protest in front of the Great Siege Memorial demanding justice for Daphne Caruana Galizia and her journalism is in full respect of the law.

The right to protest need not only not be actively crushed by the Government. Free expression means that the Government has the duty to protect those who protest in conformity with the law.

If the Government does not protect the right of protest, it is itself crushing the right to free expression.

Repubblika does not understand how flowers and candles are deemed an act of provocation while physical assault, insult and physical intimidation are consider justified. The Police cannot remain neutral in front of this. We remind the Police of its duty to protect free protest.