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Pap Saine renews call for justice for Deyda

Dec 16, 2019, 3:36 PM | Article By: Fatou B. Cham & Fatou Dem

Pap Saine, the co-publisher of The Point Newspaper has renewed his perpetual call for government to arrest immediately, Major Sanna Manjang who fled the country to Guinea Bissau. Captain Malick Jatta who was first arrested and released and Sergin Aliue Jeng who is still in detention to face justice, after it’s revealed that they were responsible for Deyda Hydara’s killing.

The veteran journalist made these remarks in an exclusive interview with The Point – as the paper observes 15 years anniversary of Deyda’s death and The Point’s at 28 on 16 December 2019.

Mr. Hydara was the managing editor and co-proprietor of The Point Newspaper prior to his brutal killing.

“Deyda Hydara was a great man who had contributed a lot for the development of press freedom in The Gambia and his demise cannot go in vain; and since government investigation has proved that the three people I cited earlier on are the perpetrators, government should arrest and take them on trial to make sure that such does not occur again,” he urged.

Mr. Saine emphasised that Deyda Hydara had left a legacy here because he was a man who defended press freedom, loved the country and had contributed to the socio-economic development of the country by organising cultural activities, while urging all the young journalists to emulate Mr. Hydara because he was committed and dedicated to his job.

Talking on The Point’s 28th anniversary, Mr. Saine lamented that managing the paper is not an easy task to undertake, citing that they don’t have subvention and secondly, government payments do come very late. He thus urged the government do its level best to assist all the newspapers in 2020 in that regard.

“I want to thank our old friends, Alhagie Gabi Sosseh who helped the establishment of the paper in 1991, late Alagie Babou Sowe who signed the bond at the Attorney Generals Chambers to make sure that the paper was in good track with government and as well as Pap Demba Jobe, the first advertiser of the paper, for several years who had been giving us annual contract,” he disclosed.

“We have a wider readership, both Anglophone and the Francophone read the paper because we have the French column which attracts many readers from the Francophone countries residing in The Gambia,” he said.

Mr. Saine assured that they will do more effort to making sure that the paper is always on the right track to defend press freedom.

Mr. Saine further thanked their readers, advertisers, subscribers and staff of the newspaper for their commitment and dedication, while citing that The Point is the only newspaper in The Gambia which won international awards five times on press freedom.

Baba Hydara, the eldest of Deyda

Baba Hydara, the eldest son of Deyda Hydara said his father was a great father and made sure that his family comes first and his profession.

According to him, his father had played a big role in making journalism a cool profession.

“At the time, not a lot of people were interested in being a journalist, but he managed to mentor, motivate and help  youths into becoming good reporters,” he said of his father.

Baba talked about his father’s involvement in community development, saying he managed to sensitise the Banjulians when the Christian burial side was flooding and also he did a lot of fund raising for various charity organisations and institutions like Tanka Tanka.

He said releasing the junglers was a big blow not only to his family but all the others that lost their loved ones.

“It was very shocking after hearing the Attorney General defending the release of the junglers,” Baba said.

“I totally understand that they cannot be kept, remanded all their lives, and also deals were made with them in exchange of a certain freedom. But I don’t expect releasing them.”

“Hydara family and other families that are concern with the liberation of the junglers, we will never stop fighting to throw them behind bars where they belong.”

He said the Victims’ Center made a lot of efforts to have communications with the Attorney General’s office and that’s how they reached out to the AG when they heard of the release. “But it was in vain.”

Baba said the minister defended the release and wouldn’t rescind his decision but they will continue with the dialogue to making sure these junglers remain behind bars.

For the Victims’ Center, he said, every perpetrator should be prosecuted without exception and “we expect consultations before any major decision regarding amnesty, release or any pardon from the AG.”

RFI remembers Deyda

The Radio France International (RFI) has paid tribute to Deyda Hydara, the managing editor and co-proprietor of The Point Newspaper 15 years after he was slain.

RFI will broadcast a documentary about his life and the circumstances surrounding his assassination, according to missive sent to The Point. The documentary will be broadcast in French Monday 16 December at 12h10 in the afternoon and 17h10 in the evening and will be also available on RFI website.