Two Maltese independent journalists are sounding the alarm about attacks on free speech ahead of their scheduled court appearances to answer recent interviews with Christians who have turned away from their homosexual lifestyle.
PMnews Malta editor Mario Camilleri and journalist Rita Bonici were ordered to indict last year after interviewing 33-year-old Christian Matthew Greck.
Camilleri, Bonnici and Grech were indicted for promoting conversion therapy. Article 3 Affirming Malta’s sexual orientation, gender and gender expression laws, it makes it “unlawful for any person” to “promote proselytizing practices”. This offense is punishable by a fine of EUR 5,000 or imprisonment for up to 5 months.
according to transcript In interviews, Gretsch said he had never invited anyone to participate in therapy to change their sexual orientation or gender identity, but that homosexuality was not an identity, but a practice incompatible with his Christian faith. Both Camilleri and Bonnici sometimes refuted some of Grech’s claims during the interview.
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Bonici said her outlet was launched partly as a response to the information crackdown amid the pandemic, and interviewed doctors who questioned the government’s response to it.
“At the time, we were individuals asking questions, and we didn’t have the media to support us,” she said. I decided to give a voice to those who want to do something and share their experiences.”
“I think we were targeted because we believe in freedom of expression, freedom of speech, freedom of choice above all else. Our mouths were shut.”
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In addition to anonymous complaints about Grech’s interview being brought to court, Camilleri said PMnews Malta is also facing crackdowns on Facebook. He said the Maltese press has been silent about their lawsuit, but he is confident they will win. We will fight it at any cost, even to the blood,” he said.
“[R]Instead of acting as a guard dog, so to speak, we pander to power rather than telling the truth to it. .”
Rodolfo Lagonesi, a Maltese journalist and researcher writing for PMnews Malta, said in recent years that “there has been a backlash against free speech in these islands and across Europe.”
“And unfortunately, the freedom of the press, which should exist to basically control power, does not exist. And what we have seen in the last couple of years is I mean, a lot of the press is working on this issue, and some people in the world are in danger and trapped just because they’re not doing very well economically.”
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Ragonesi pointed out that outlets around the world are facing difficulties facing the power of Big Tech, collaborating with state officials to establish “fact-checking” algorithms via government subsidies. sleeping,” he said.
“So instead of acting as a watchdog, so to speak, rather than telling the truth to power, they are pandering to power. It’s one of the few institutions that has a speech,” he said.
“I think it’s a bit of a first for Malta that a press has been brought to court for organizing a program on a subject, apart from the subject.”
Ragonesi, who is also a lawyer involved in constitutional lawsuits against the country’s public health oversight, believes that the state of free speech in Europe has been less threatened since the end of World War II.
He said the lawsuit against PMnews Malta in particular shows that “the whole psyche of the media has changed.”
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“For over 20 years I have had the opportunity to be involved as a correspondent submitting articles on international law, international affairs, research and history. I’ve seen it, getting out of someone else’s censorship,” he said.
“I think what we used to see was a little initiative to speak truth to power,” he continued. “It’s not happening the way it used to be, and that’s cause for great concern.”
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“I think it’s a bit of a first for Malta that a press has been brought to court for organizing a program on a subject apart from the subject,” he added. “Ridiculous”