The Coalition for Human Rights in the Gambia (CHRG) and the Federation of African Journalists (FAJ) hail the recent legal action undertaken by the Hydara family and their backers as the right step towards ensuring justice in the 2004 assassination of Deyda Hydara.
The family of the late Deyda Hydara, the slain Gambian editor and co-publisher of The Point newspaper, a privately-owned Banjul-based daily, has filed a writ at the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Community Court in Abuja, the Nigerian capital, seeking full investigations into the editor's killing on 16th, December 2004.
The writ filed on behalf of the late journalist's two sons: Deyda Hydara Jr and Ismaila Hydara and supported by the Dakar-based Africa Regional Office of the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ-Africa) and the Open Society Justice Initiative, is so far the third case of human rights violations brought against the regime of President Yahya Jammeh at the ECOWAS Community Court. The Accra-based sub-regional rights body, Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA) had previously filed two other cases against the Gambian government at the same court.
The CHRG and FAJ regard this development as a healthy and fitting move in our quest to ensure justice in the case; as well as to help end impunity over numerous cases of attacks against journalists, human rights activists and the larger population by the regime of President Yahya Jammeh.
Deyda Hydara, 58, a press freedom advocate and ardent critic of the Yahya Jammeh regime, was killed by unidentified gunmen same day after his newspaper celebrated its 13th anniversary on December 16, 2004. He was shot three times in the head. Two of his female staff, Ida Jagne and Nyang Sarang Jobe, who were with him in his car, also sustained gun shot wounds.
Since the killing, there has been no serious nor independent investigation into the matter and, no one has yet been brought to book for this heinous crime.
Reviewing all the actions and inactions by the Gambian government following the unfortunate incident, CHRG and FAJ are left wondering whether there are some people within the Yahya Jammeh regime bent on ensuring the late journalist's death remains a mystery forever.
We strongly believe that it is about time justice took its course in this heinous crime committed against Deyda Hydara and all other cases of human rights violations that have happened in the Gambia.
As we observe the seventh year anniversary of the cold-blooded murder of one of the finest sons of the Gambia and a leading press freedom advocate, we say to everyone who cares for the truth and human rights: "justice for Hydara now!"
We wish to take this opportunity to commend the Hydara family, the IFJ Africa office and other backers for coming up with the case at the ECOWAS Community Court, which development, we hope would help to bring justice for Hydara sooner rather than later.
- International Federation of Journalists - IFJ Africa Office
- Federation of African Journalists - FAJ
- Amnesty International, Section Sénégal
- Article 19.
- Réseau Interafricain pour les Femmes, Médias, Genre et Développement - (FAMEDEV)
- Syndicat des Professionnels de l'Information et de la Communication du Sénégal (SYNPICS)
-- Gambia Press Union - GPU
- West African Journalists Association (WAJA)
- Rencontre Africaine pour le Défense Des Droits de l'Homme (RADDHO)
- Radio Alternative Voice for Gambians-Radio AVG
- Organisation Nationale des Droits de l'Homme (ONDH).
The FAJ represents over 50,000 journalists in 40 countries in Africa