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Media Chiefs appeal for Justice

Dec 17, 2010, 1:21 PM

On the sixth anniversary of the gruesome murder of a beloved friend Deyda Hydara, heads of The Gambia’s various media houses and colleagues in the media have expressed concerns on the slow pace of developments, urging that more should be done to bring the culprit to book.

Below are the comments of various media chiefs compiled by Lamin B. Darboe.

Pap Saine Co-Publisher and Managing Director, The Point

As I said last year, I would on behalf of the family of the late Deyda Hydara, the management and staff of The Point newspaper, like to urge the authorities again to revive the investigations into the killing of Deyda Hydara.

Hydara’s untimely death has shocked many people because of his dedication, love and the fact that is a role model in the field of journalism. His death should not go in vain, because he was a man who stood for press freedom throughout his entire life. He stood for the voice of the voiceless.

We will always remember him because of his stand for the truth. The investigations into his death should be reactivated. We hope and pray that the culprits will one day be arrested, and brought to justice.

I would also like to use this occasion, which is also the 19th anniversary of The Point newspaper to say that we will continue the struggle to promote press freedom, and to defend the rights of the people.

The government should be seen to be opening its doors to the independent media in this country, as this will promote press freedom. Information should be made available and accessible to journalists, as this will help avoid speculation. Journalists should not be seen as enemies, but as partners in development. We all yearn and pray for peace and for the development of the country.

Samuel Osseh Sarr, Managing Editor, Foroyaa

The late Deyda Hydara was committed to his profession. He did what every true journalist would do, that is, to scrutinise the executive who are accountable to the people. He persisted in running his column, “Mr President”, without yielding to pressure, exposing all that needed to be exposed. Because he was daring enough to go against the tide, by speaking out, he was murdered by cowards.

Deyda will never be forgotten. He will always be remembered by all just and peace loving Gambians; by all journalists at home and abroad. His spirit will continue to live in our midst and will continue to hunt all those who have a hand in his murder.

The body of Deyda is no more, yet we always talk about him. Yes, we will continue to talk about him because of what he stood for; because freedom of expression is still lacking in this dear land of ours; because six years has elapsed since his murder and the government cannot still explain who and what is responsible for his death. All journalists and just humanity want to know who killed Deyda and we will continue to ask the question, “WHO KILLED DEYDA HYDARA?” until we know the answer.

Alhagie Ba Trawale, Veteran Journalist, Commentator and Researcher

It was a big loss to lose Deyda Hydara. It is very regrettable to all Gambians and the media fraternity in general. The late Deyda Hydara was at prime age man, a well-trained professional and role model for journalists. It is not easy to lose a high profile man like Deyda Hydara, and all Gambians and the media fraternity in general will continue to mourn him forever.

Madi Ceesay, Publisher Daily News

It is a sad situation that somebody’s life can be taken away and, after six years now, nothing came out of it. The same question is still about his killers, which is only being asked by the media houses in the country. It is only the media houses who are calling for investigation into the matter. Nobody talks about the killing of this patriotic citizen, who has devoted all his life trying to enlighten the Gambian citizens, and who has immensely contributed to the socio-economic development of the Gambia. Members of the media fraternity are calling on the Government of the Gambia to investigate the matter seriously, and bring those responsible to book. Unless that is done, Gambia’s media situation will remain the same, just as on the latest CPJ report, which indicated that Gambia is among the third countries in Africa, whose media personnel are not the least free in their work.

Abdulhamid Adiamoh, Managing Director-Editor Today Newspaper

It is six years now that some unknown assailant killed Deyda Hydara. We continue to pray for the departed soul of the late Deyda Hydara. As journalists, our job is not only the profession to earn our living, but it is what we do to ensure that others also live to their fullest. We do this with sacrifice and professionalism, which I believe is the legacy of the late Deyda Hydara. I believe the best way to honour this legacy is to fully commit ourselves as journalists to them.

George Christensen, Proprietor Radio 1FM

The pain and shock of the death of Deyda Hydara has not diminished with passing of time. His murder can never, and will never go unpunished. We yearn for the day his killers are brought to justice, and we mourn the loss of a true son of Africa. On behalf of the Radio 1FM family, we offer our heartfelt condolences to his family and loved ones.