Paul Caruana Galizia said his late mother’s political perspective was shaped by a traumatic early experience – getting arrested at a protest and wrongfully charged when she was only 19 years old.
Caruana Galizia was interviewed by CNN’s Christine Amanpour, one of the world’s most famous journalists, about his new book A Death In Malta, which delves into his mother’s life and her 2017 assassination.
When Amanpour asked him what he found out about his mother while writing the book, Caruana Galizia referred to this infamous arrest, which took place after a protest against the government’s education policies.
“When she was 19 in 1984, she had been arrested and wrongfully charged for assaulting police officers at a protest, and that experience kind of radicalised her,” he said.
Daphne Caruana Galizia had written about this arrest and about how she was forced to sign a false confession. Sliema mayor John Pillow, who was also arrested at the protest, recently opened up about his own experience.
Paul Caruana Galizia said his mother’s drive came from her experience growing up in Malta in the 1970s and wishing that her country would open up to the world.
“She always saw journalism as a way of achieving that political change and getting Maltese people to reflect on themselves and how they want their country to run,” he said.
“He ran out of the house and found the car in flames – and actually tried to rescue her from the car.” In his new book A Death in Malta, @pcaruanagalizia tells the story of his mother, pioneering journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia, who was assassinated in broad daylight. pic.twitter.com/YQUTliK8m0
— Christiane Amanpour (@amanpour) November 20, 2023
“So when, starting in 2013, the country reverted to that Malta of her childhood, she was horrified and began seeing it as almost an obligation, a compulsion to write about what is happening.”
Paul Caruana Galizia also said he also found it interesting how his mother became a journalist at a time when Maltese newspapers didn’t employ women as a matter of policy.
“She was the first woman to write a column and the first person to write a column under her own name,” he said.
Have you read A Death in Malta?