By Modou S. Joof
The killers of Deyda Hydara must be brought to justice now, the Gambia Press Union (GPU) demanded on Tuesday, the 10th anniversary of his murder.
The accomplishment of “our crucial role” would be hard to come by when rogue elements in society who negate the work of journalists enjoy the fruits of impunity, the journalists’ body said in a statement.
Deyda Hydara, a celebrated co-proprietor and managing editor of The Point newspaper, was assassinated in a drive-by shooting on December 16 2014. The GPU calls it a “gruesome murder” of which the gunmen behind this “nefarious act” still walk freely.
“The Gambia Press Union once again calls on the Government of The Gambia to expend all its efforts and tools to investigate this matter in order to bring the culprits to book,” GPU’s secretary general Gibairu Janneh said. “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.”
The government has a constitutional obligation to protect the “right to life of all Gambians” under the country’s laws.
The Abuja-based ECOWAS Court of Justice declared that Gambia’s National Intelligence Agency, tasked with investigating Hydara’s murder, did not carry out a proper investigation and cited its failure to carry out ballistic tests on the bullets and weapons recovered from suspects.
It concluded that the Agency was “not an impartial body to conduct the investigation” but that there was no evidence linking the Gambian government to the murder.
However, the Court awarded US$50,000 to Hydara’s family as compensation for the government’s failure to effectively investigate the murder, and US$10,000 for legal costs.