Following yesterday’s revelation that blogger-activist Manuel Delia was leaving Malta for a spell because of concerns for his and his family’s security, the spotlight on the matter shifted initially from Delia’s camp onto the Prime Minister’s Office who came out unequivocally condemning any intimidation of journalists whilst offering Delia and his family Police protection.
However, subsequent to that the attention again moved onto editor Caroline Muscat who leads the online web news portal The Shift News, as she came out trying to expose and discredit Delia’s self-exile from Malta as some attempt of his to seek alternative employment overseas.
In a post earlier this Friday morning as a rebuttal to Muscat’s expose’ about Delia taking up an offer by European Centre for Press and Media Freedom (ECMPF), the heir-apparent to Daphne Caruana Galizia role and voice as a frontline critic, admitted that what came across from the interview he gave to Articolo 21 “left room for misinterpretation and controversy that distracts from the real and burning issues facing this country.”
Bottom line up front, Manuel Delia remains a husband and a father to his family, and he deserves all the safety and security that can be accorded to him or anybody else under threat from criminal or political thugs, whoever they may be and from whatever political camp they come from. His decision to “spend some time away from the country” is sacredly sacrosant and his own divine given right.
This morning’s clarification of matters by Delia aptly so defines those components which protect him and his family. Basically he spells them out in a lucidly plain and clear manner as his having taken the brunt (like Daphne) of daily Labour Party media rhetoric about his being the brains or part of some cabal of puppeteers leading the Opposition leader by the nose, or prodding him to act in one direction or another. And that not fogetting that Delia’s wife was also publically assaulted with court ordered protection and criminal prosectutions.
Add to this already hot and agitated state of affairs that a general election is on the offing, with political activists and supporters from both camps of the local spectrum not digesting Delia’s voice coming across through his writings or active participation in the civil rights camp.
And to cap things off, the most recent cyber-bullying campaign against Delia and others really capped all like a cherry on the sundae. So, when an offer from the ECMPF landed on delia’s lap, it was the right moment in time for him to take up their schem’s offer to take “temporary shelter for journalists facing harassment and intimidation as a direct result of their work.”
Supporting Delia, rightly enough, is the local Institute of Journalists, while Caroline Muscat’s published piece last night attempting to discredit him left him surprised and saddened, as both are in the risky business of truth-seeking.