A STATEMENT BY THE GAMBIA PRESS UNION ON THE OCCASION OF THE 6TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE ASSASSINATION OF DEYDA HYDARA ? THURSDAY, 16 DECEMBER, 2010
Today December 16, 2010 marks six years since the gruesome murder of Deyda Hydara, former GPU Chairman, Proponent and Martyr of Free Expression, Democracy and Human Rights.Deyda as he was fondly called was gunned down on the December 16 2004, by unidentified gun men aboard a taxi around the Police Intervention Unit Headquarters in Kanifing.
The gruesome incident sent shivers down the spine of the nation as it occurred at a time when Deyda Hydara served as the vanguard for the struggle against what we journalists perceived as an attempt to stifle free expression through the enactment of draconian media legislation.
Irked by the cowardice and illegitimacy of this act, the Gambia Press Union has always stood firmly on its stance on the assassination of Deyda Hydara, and today, renews its call on the State Authorities to investigate the matter and bring the culprits to book.Six years has elapsed since the assassination of Deyda Hydara and the culprits are yet to be arrested and brought to justice. Taking note of the Authorities? appeal for the public to come forward, we join this call to ask any member of the public with relevant information to come forward in order to help unearth the truth.We also remind the Authorities that it is the responsibility of the State to protect life and property as enshrined in Section 18 (1) and Section 22 (1) of the 1997 Constitution of The Gambia.
We therefore call on the Gambia Government to not allow the trail to go cold. They should solicit support from willing bilateral partners including the United Kingdom?s MI5 to help them in the investigation of the matter.The Gambia Press Union is of the belief that the assassination of Deyda Hydara is an onslaught on the Rule of Law. It is therefore profoundly important for justice to be seen to be done. All actions of violence should be nipped in the bud since they have no place in a decent and civilized society.We hope that the assassins of Deyda Hydara will one day account for their deed.Today, we also join the Hydara family to mourn their loved one. The GPU will never forget Deyda Hydara.