#Article (Archive)

MFWA calls for Sustained Pressure on Gambian Gov't Over Deyda Hydara Murder

Dec 18, 2008, 4:19 AM

December 16, 2008 marked the fourth anniversary of the gruesome murder of Gambian journalist, Deyda Hydara.

Hydara, co-proprietor and editor of The Point, one ofthe few independent newspapers in the country then, was shot three times in the head by unidentified gunmen moments after his newspaper celebrated its 13thanniversary.

Four years on, the government has not heeded to continuous demands for an independent committee to investigate the murder and bring the perpetrators to justice.

The murder of Hydara has been followed by increased cases of violent attacks on journalists and the media. Newspapers and radio stations considered critical have been closed down. Journalists publishing anything unpalatable have also received their fair share of the violent treatment. Currently, several of them, for fear of arrests and torture, have escaped into exile.

One journalist, Chief Ebrima Manneh, has "disappeared" for two years now; he is still nowhere to be found despite an ECOWAS Community Court order for him to be produced.

Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA) is urging the international community to sustain pressure on the Gambian government to end impunity and ensure that they improve on the horrific media rights situation in the country.

We are happy that the African Commission on Human and People's Rights at the 44thOrdinary Session held in Abuja in November 2008 adopted a resolution on the deplorable human rights situation in The Gambia, and called on the African Union leaders to ensure that the resolution is enforced.

MFWA urges civil, media, labour, and human rights organisations in the African region to ask their respective governments to ensure the enforcement of the resolution.

Issued by the MFWA, Accra, December 15, 2008.
The MFWA is a regional independent, non-profit, non-governmental organization based in Accra. It was founded in 1997 to defend and promote the rights and freedom of the media and all forms of expression.