Maltese Hunting community attacks right to freedom of speech on the island – Birdlife

BirdLife Malta yesterday (Saturday 22/02/2014), condemned what appears to be a campaign of bullying and harassment by the FKNK (hunting association) aimed at curtailing people’s right to freedom of speech and to pass opinion and comment in the media.

It has emerged that the hunting association has lodged complaints with the police accusing private individuals who have posted comments on the Times of Malta on-line of defamation.

These are a two of the comments that the FKNK have complained to the police about (reproduced here anonymously to protect the identity of the individuals who made them). The individuals who posted these comments are now being subjected to the threat of criminal proceedings against them for expressing their opinions:

“Our police is greatly outnumbered by hunters. It is impossible to keep up. I do not agree with invasion of privacy but if hunters are breaking the law over and over again what do we expect? If an area is prone to illegal activities it is going to be surveyed by CCTV cameras and so on like Paceville.”

“Being Maltese and proud of it means preventing criminals, not encouraging them. The FKNK has exposed itself as nothing more than a front for people who want to break the law and get away with it. The only people who have any objection to this monitoring are those who want to break the law”

These comments were posted in response to the successful employment by the Committee Against Bird Slaughter (with the cooperation of the Malta Police Department) of a radio-controlled plane to uncover illegal trapping sites in spring 2012.

This most recent action by the FKNK follows the launch before Christmas of a petition by the hunting community to prevent a public referendum to abolish spring hunting. Steve Micklewright, Executive Director of BirdLife Malta said, “The hunting community already prevents law-abiding Maltese people from enjoying the countryside through their illegal occupation of public land. They have already expanded their efforts to bully and harass the people of Malta by trying to prevent a referendum to abolish spring hunting and now they appear to be attacking people’s fundamental right to freedom of speech too.”

It is understood that the police have received at least nine complaints from the FKNK made against individuals. Mr Micklewright added, “It is deeply worrying that the police are having to spend their limited resources investigating these complaints when they are unable to control the acts of illegal hunters.”

BirdLife Malta has called on the people of Malta to show their contempt for this latest attempt by the hunting community to harass and bully people, by signing the petition to call for a referendum to abolish spring hunting.  Mr Micklewright said, “more than 45,000 people have now signed the petition and it can still be downloaded from the BirdLife Malta website.”

1 comment to Maltese Hunting community attacks right to freedom of speech on the island – Birdlife

  • Pev Curry

    What can I do to help? I have been sickened by these psychopaths for years. As a birder I an appalled. The solution may be a detailed intelligence network of the economic functionality of each hunter and get a boycott going of any product or associate of these pariahs. I know this has been attempted but surely this could actualise these wankers deterring them from this pseudo aristocratic shooting and killing. Embarrass them wherever they go. Olympics wherever. Throw buckets of immitation blood on them. Perhaps chat to the Pope as he has recently said that Mafia are hell bound unless thy repent..what is the difference here?