GPU STATEMENT ON DEYDA HYDARA

December 16, 2016

Today, December 16, 2016, marks twelve years since Deyda Hydara, a founding member and former President of the Gambia Press Union (GPU), was assassinated. Mr Hydara was also the editor and co-founder of The Point Newspaper. He was killed in a drive-by shooting in Old Jeshwang, a few hundred metres away from the Mobile Traffic Police. His killers remain at large.

On June 10, 2015, the ECOWAS Court of Justice, based in Abuja, in a judgment, found that the Government of the Gambia had failed to properly investigate the murder of Deyda and had violated its treaty obligations to ECOWAS by promoting a climate of impunity that stifled freedom of expression. The Court ordered the Gambia government to pay US$50, 000 in damages to the Hydra family. More than two years on, the government has not complied with this judgment.

As we mark yet another anniversary, the GPU wishes to call on the outgoing government, under the leadership of President Yaya AJJ Jammeh, to at least, as a goodwill gesture, respect the decision of the ECOWAS court and pay the 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.

See next edition for interview with veteran journalists.