The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) had today called for the end of all form of impunity in The Gambia. Today, Monday 16 December, marks the ninth anniversary of the assassination of Deyda Hydara, a prominent journalist, who was gunned down in a drive-by shooting by unknown assailants on 16 December, 2004. His killers are still at large.
The IFJ joins its affiliate, the Gambia Press Union (GPU) to once again call on the Government of The Gambia to expand all its efforts and tools to investigate the assassination in order to bring the culprits to book. "Failure to bring the perpetrators of this heinous crime to book will only entrench a culture of impunity in our society, which is inimical to democracy," GPU said in a statement today.
"We still believe that authorities in The Gambia have developed a very lackadaisical attitude in trying to conduct any form of investigation into this gruesome murder. The International Federation of Journalists once again called on the Gambian authorities to invite the international community to help conduct an investigation in order to bring the perpetrators to justice," said Gabriel Baglo, IFJ Africa director.
According to the GPU, it is the responsibility of the Government to protect the right to life of all Gambians as enshrined in Section 18 of the 1997 constitution. The IFJ like the GPU, believes that the murder of Deyda Hydara is a heinous crime, a crime against humanity and a fundamental violation to the right to life and hence therefore should not go unpunished.
The Gambian Constitution like all other regional and international instruments like the Universal Declaration of Human Rights promotes and defends the "Right to life" and hence the responsibility of the Gambia Government to ensure that justice prevails at all cost as the protection of human rights in any society lies squarely in the hands of Governments.
The IFJ joins the GPU to recommend that the Gambia Government should solicit support from the international community to enable her to establish the truth and to bring the perpetrators of this heinous crime to justice.
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The IFJ represents more than 600.000 journalists in 134 countries