#Article (Archive)

Justice delayed is justice denied

Dec 16, 2013, 10:22 AM

It is now nine years since those yet-unknown killers destroyed Deyda Hydara’s physical frame, but failed to destroy his spirit, which has been living on and on.

His killers and their cohorts were misguided into thinking that when they murdered Deyda Hydara in cold blood, his memory would be erased forever.

Instead, they have turned him into a legend. Like Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar, Deyda Hydara is now far greater in death than he ever was alive. His story shall be told and told until the end of time.

His killers failed to realize that people like Deyda Hydara, who dedicated their lives to a cause greater than themselves, become larger than life and death.

Deyda Hydara’s death marked a turning point in the practice of journalism in this country. Nobody expected it; nobody ever thought that such a foul act could be committed in The Gambia.

But before our very eyes, Deyda Hydara, the greatest Gambian fighter for press freedom ever, was gunned down at the wheel of his car.

Who killed Deyda Hyara?We are yet to know. But as law-abiding citizens, we expect the authorities to do all that they can to track down his killers.

Justice delayed is justice denied, and we feel that with a person of Deyda’s stature in this society, justice should have been seen to be done in his case, by now.

If the authorities can easily investigate alleged serious crimes of all sorts committed in this country, as we have all seen happen, why is it taking them so long to find and punish the killers of Deyda Hydara?

Since Deyda Hydara’s murder has had an adverse effect on the image of the country, the authorities are therefore best advised to leave no stone unturned to find his killers, so that The Gambia can regain its lost reputation as a haven of peace in Africa, not only for the benefit of journalists but for all who reside in this country.

Failing to revisit the investigation into the murder of Deyda Hydara is like playing the ostrich, which only prolongs the agony felt by all who love the Gambian nation.

As we mark the 9th anniversary of his brutal murder, we demand that the authorities reopen the police and NIA files to find out, “Who killed Deyda Hydara?”

Whatever reason must have pushed his perpetrators to the killing of one of the illustrious sons of this land, who was a staunch believer in human rights and press freedom, these killers must be found and brought to justice; they must not go scot-free.

Governments exist to maintain law and order!

If a citizen of any country is killed, and his killers are still at large, the government is under an obligation to find and bring the killers to book.

Thus, this is the least we expect from the Government of The Gambia!

We sympathise with the family on this sad occasion of the anniversary of his brutal assassination, and pray that his soul rests in perfect peace. We will continue the cause.

“It matters not how a man dies, but how he lives. The act of dying is not of importance, it lasts so short a time.”

Samuel Johnson