GPU marks 5th anniversary of Deyda's death

Friday, December 18, 2009

The Gambia Press Union (GPU) on Wednesday 16th December 2009, held a symposium at the TANGO Hall in Kanifing to mark the 5th anniversary of the assassination of Deyda Hydara, a veteran journalist and co-founder of The Point Newspaper.

The event, attended by different personalities, especially from the media fraternity, was characterised by presentation of papers on Freedom and Responsibility in the media, as well as Why Freedom and Access to Information Act Matters.

The first presenter, Mr. Madi Ceesay, Editor/Publisher of the Daily News and former President of the GPU deliberated on freedom and responsibility in the media.

He used the opportunity to call on the government to re-open the investigations into the killing of Deyda. He urged the government to seek for outside intervention, if they cannot meet human or material resources to track down the killers.

"It's five solid years now and justice is yet to be seen done in the case of Deyda," he stated.

Mr. Ceesay also challenged the government to create the enabling environment for journalists to operate so as to contribute their quota in the democratic dispensation of the nation.

Presenting on the theme "Why Freedom and Access to Information Act Matters," Mr. Madi Jobarteh emphasised the need for a free information law to be enacted in the country. 

For his part, Mr. Pap Saine, the Managing Editor of The Point Newspaper, gave a short biographical account of the late Deyda Hydara.

He also highlighted the various human interest projects initiated by him through the use of his pen, such as the fencing of Old Jeshwang Cemetery and medical items for the RVTH.

A politician, Omar Jallow, alias OJ, Ba Trawale and Mrs. Bijou Peters, both veteran journalists spoke against impunity.

The commemoration ended with contributions and questions from the participants, all of whom unanimously called for justice to be done in the case of Deyda, and for the media to be free.

Delivering the vote of thanks, Musa Sheriff, the Editor of the Voice Newspaper challenged the civil society to reciprocate the good work of the media.   

Mr. Cherno Jallow a media consultant moderated the occasion and maintained that Deyda indeed deserves to be remembered for his good work for the nation.

Author: Nfamara Jawneh