Thousands took to the streets of Malta on Sunday to demand justice and the dismissal of the police chief and the attorney general following last week's killing of journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia.
Protesters held placards calling on authorities to uphold the rule of law after Caruana Galizia, 53, was killed by a car bomb just metres from her home in the village of Bidnija on October 16.
Several placards quoted Caruana Galizia's final sentences in her last blog post, posted minutes before her assassination: "There are crooks everywhere you look now. The situation is desperate."
Protest co-organiser Michael Briguglio told the crowd in Valletta that Malta was facing a crisis.
"There's fear in the country," Briguglio said. "Bullies have taken over the country, bullies who feel they can do as they please."
"The state failed to protect Daphne. The state is not protecting us," Briguglio continued, saying civil society will not rest until the prime minister sacks the police commissioner and the attorney general.
Briguglio urged President Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca to use her authority to help get the country out of the crisis.
Christophe Deloire of Reporters Without Borders said journalistic investigations in Malta had unveiled the reality of corruption and tax avoidance, and journalist James Debono told the crowd he did not want to see his country turn into a "washing machine" for criminals and dictators.
"Money doesn't buy everything," Debono said. "We need to show the criminals we have good institutions, that they are trusted," he said.
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