Gambia: Gambian journalists demand justice for Deyda Hydara assassination

Banjul, Gambia (PANA) - Gambian journalists on Friday renewed their demand for justice in relation to the 16 December 2004 murder of Deyda Hydara, founder of independent newspaper 'The Point' and urged President-elect Adama Barrow to investigate the case.

Hydara, regarded as an authoritative voice of Gambian media, was gunned down in what was generally described as an orchestrated plan to silence him forever and spread fear within the media community in The Gambia.  

“What is wrong with our police and intelligence units? How can such a killing take this long without a trace or arrest of any suspect in connection with this heinous crime?” queried Madi M.K. Ceesay, former president of the Gambia Press Union.

Speaking to PANA, Ceesay expressed hope that the new government will not fail, as the outgoing Yahya Jammeh’s regime failed, to investigate the killing of such "a good citizen".

Lamin Cham, managing editor of 'The Standard', urged Gambian journalists to ensure  Hydara's memory and legacy lives on.

"Deyda has gone, but he shall never be forgotten. He shall always be in our hearts and minds.
He died standing up for freedom of the media, and his death marked an important day in our calendar -- a day on which a defender of media freedom was martyred," said Cham.

Bakery Ceesay, editor of  'The Voice' said:  “Today marks the twelfth anniversary of Deyda Hydara’s killing,  twelve years of impunity, twelve years of legal battles by his family and  twelve years of justice denied.”

According to him, investigation into the killing of Hydara should not take another year again.

“The killers were with high hope that they would go unpunished, but with the change of government, his murder should be among the first cases to be investigated by President-elect Adama Barrow,” Ceesay said.

“As we mark yet another anniversary, the Gambia Press Union (GPU) wishes to call on the outgoing government, under the leadership of President Yahya Jammeh, to at least, as a goodwill gesture, respect the decision of the ECOWAS court and pay damages to the family of Deyda Hydara, before leaving office.

"We also call on the incoming government to pursue further with an earlier promise of the outgoing government to work with the international community to invite independent investigators,” the GPU said in a statement.
-0-  PANA MSS/AR 16Dec2016

16 december 2016 16:33:33

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