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Deyda Hydara, Chief Manneh Issues Dominate Discussions

Jul 4, 2008, 5:09 AM | Article By: By Bakary Samateh

As GPU Executive Meets Speaker

The Executive of Gambia Press Union (GPU), the body in charge of the welfare of Gambian journalists, yesterday paid a courtesy call on the Speaker of the National Assembly, Hon. Fatoumatta Jahumpa-Ceesay. At the meeting the issue of the missing journalist, Chief Ebrima Manneh, who was a reporter with Daily Observer Newspaper, and the investigations into the murder of Deyda Hydara, former Managing Editor of The Point Newspaper, took up the whole discussions.

In her opening remarks, Ndey Tapha Sosseh, President of the Gambia Press Union, intimated that GPU is very concerned about the whereabouts of their missing colleague, Chief Ebrima Manneh, who has not been seen for exactly two years this month. She pointed out that the matter is not just an issue of press freedom, but a Gambian issue that needs to be addressed at the National Assembly level.She also raised the issue of the assassination of Deyda Hydara, the late Editor-in -Chief of The Point Newspaper.

"We want the issue addressed at the National Assembly level in order to see whether our problem will be solved," she added.

For his part, the Adviser of the Gambia Press Union, Mr Swaebou Conateh, said that it is important for the National Assembly to facilitate news to the media for their publication. He re-echoed GPU's concern pertaining to the continued disappearance of Chief Ebrima Manneh and the non-conclusion of the investigation into the murder of Deyda Hydara, the late Managing Editor of The Point newspaper, asserting that no nation would keep any body in custody without explanation.

Mr. Conateh pointed out that following the ECOWAS court's judgement in Abuja for the release of Chief Ebrima Manneh and the payment of compensation of US$100,000 to him by the Gambia government, nothing has been done so far. He expressed the worry that what happened to Chief Manneh could happen to any journalist as far as one is in the field of journalism. "We are law-abiding citizens. We are very concerned as colleagues," he said.

Speaking earlier on, Honourable Speaker, Mrs. Fatoumatta Jahumpa-Ceesay, thanked the Gambia Press Union executive for taking up the responsibility and advised the president to maintain the good work and not be biased in her duty.

In attendance at the meeting were also Sam Sarr of FORAYAA Newspaper, the Minority Leader, Hon. Modou Sanneh, Hon. Babanding Daffeh, NAM for Kiang Central, Hon. Sainey Jaiteh of Serrekunda Central, and other NAMS.