GPU remembers Deyda 16 years after murder

Dec 16, 2020, 1:30 PM

Today marks 16 years since the editor and co-founder of The Point Newspaper, Mr Deyda Hydara, was murdered ‘on the orders of the former President Yahya Jammeh’. Mr Deyda Hydara was a founding member and former president of the Gambia Press Union (GPU).

He was shot and killed in a drive-by shooting on the night of December 16, 2004. It was the 13th anniversary of The Point and he was driving home two of his staff Ida Jagne, a typist, and Niansarang Jobe, a layout editor, who also sustained gunshot wounds on her leg and was briefly admitted for medical treatment.

Although the former government had denied any involvement in the killing of the journalist, a member of the hit-squad of then-president, Yahya Jammeh, told the Truth, Reconciliation and Reparations Commission (TRRC) that he participated in the killing of Mr. Hydara. He confirmed that Yahya Jammeh ordered the assassination in an operation meant to get rid of the ‘magic pen’ (a codename referring to Mr. Hydara).

On the 16 anniversary of his murder and the attempt on the life of his staff, the GPU president, Mr Sheriff Bojang Jr. said: “As an institution, we have submitted ourselves to the ongoing transitional justice process and have cooperated with the current government in pursuit of justice for crimes against journalist.

“Now that compensation has been fully paid by The Gambia government to the family of Hydara, as dictated by the Ecowas Court of Justice, we are keenly monitoring the TRRC and are hoping that the recommendation it will make will be in the interest of justice.

“As a country and people, we all owe it to Deyda Hydara to bring his killers to book as soon as possible. He dedicated his life and sacrifices that much for The Gambia.”