#Article (Archive)

Reporters Without Borders Press Release

Dec 16, 2008, 5:24 AM

Journalists still live in fear four years after unpunished murder of Deyda Hydara

Reporters Without Borders today expressed its disgust at the obstruction and bad faith of the Gambian authorities who have allowed continuing impunity to the killers of Deyda Hydara, co-founder of privately-owned daily The Point, four years after his murder on 16 December 2004.

Hydara, who was also correspondent in Gambia for Agence France-Presse (AFP) and Reporters Without Borders, was shot dead by unidentified gunmen travelling in a taxi as he was driving his car in an outlying district of the capital Banjul.

There were several reasons for believing that Deyda Hydara was targeted to silence fierce criticism regularly levelled by this journalist, former president of the Gambia Press Union (GPU) and dean of the country's journalists.

The police investigation promised by the Gambian authorities got nowhere. The only official report, sent to the press by the Gambian intelligence services in 2005, was "confidential", outlining several leads, most of them absurd, which were supposedly intended to shed light on the circumstances of the killings.

The Gambian press, reduced to a few privately-owned newspapers under close government scrutiny is trying to survive in a climate in which the least incident is severely punished.