Malta’s Police force failed to say who gave its officers the order to move items such as candles, flags, and posters left in front of the Russian Embassy in Malta. These items were left in protest against its unjustified war on Ukraine.
I asked the police force two simple questions:
- Who gave the police the order to clear out the protest candles, flags, and posters?
- Why did the police carry out these orders?
Police Sergeant Brian Mifsud from the police’s communications office failed to tell me where the orders came from. However, he did give a reply as to why the officers were moving the objects in question saying:
“Kindly note that none of the items left by the protestors have been cleared by the police, but were repositioned in the same area for safety reasons.”
Maltese blogger Manuel Delia was the first to report about the video on his blog here. He aptly titled the story Owen Bonnici taught them well, referencing the daily clearing that used to happen of the protest memorial for slain journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia.
The video quality isn’t the best. From the parts uploaded the police seem to be blowing out the candles and transferring them to the pavement, removing them from the original position in front of the gate. The video technically doesn’t show them shoving everything in their path into a bin. But at one point, an officer is seen kicking an object in the street. This irks the person filming the scene.
Malta’s newspaper of record, the Times of Malta, seems to have independently verified the story. It used the headline Police filmed tearing down anti-war symbols outside Russia’s Kappara embassy. The Times said, “It appears that police set about removing the anti-war symbols soon after the last protestors left the site.”
The protest was organised by Repubblika, the Daphne Caruana Galizia Foundation, SOS Malta, OASI Foundation, PEN Malta, Prisma Malta, and Anti-Poverty Forum Malta in solidarity with Ukrainian people.
More on the actual protest here.
Tweets related to the police’s actions below:
Meanwhile in Dublin
This is how the Russian Ambassador in Dublin was welcomed in Ireland:
Featured photo by NGO Repubblika