Gambia Affairs:Deyda Hydara: Seven Years of Impunity

Friday, December 16, 2011 | comments

By D. A. Jawo a veteran Gambian Journalist
This is yet another anniversary of the assassination of prominent Gambian journalist, Deyda Hydara, the seventh year since he was brutally murdered by unknown assailants, and yet, there is no indication that the Gambian authorities have any intentions to investigate the case with a view to apprehending those responsible for this heinous crime.
It is unfortunate however that every time President Jammeh comments on the case, he makes remarks which tend to confuse rather than clarify his government's stand point on the issue. A case in point was his last interview with the BBC in which he compared Deyda's brutal murder to the deaths of other Gambians in road accidents.

We can all recall the so-called 'Confidential Report' that was released in 2005 in which the authorities chose to subject Deyda's personal character to all sorts of disparaging comments, even to the extent of blaming his death on his wayward behaviour. The least anyone expected from the authorities was to show commitment in thoroughly investigating the case with a view to bringing the culprits to justice. Therefore, their failure to do so tantamount to shirking their responsibilities to a bona fide Gambian citizen.

From the very beginning, the Gambia Press Union and other civil society groups had called on the authorities to invite more competent investigating bodies from abroad to help our security forces to unravel the case, but they always turned down the call, saying that the security forces have the competence to carry out the investigation, and yet so far, they have failed to carry out any serious investigation. There is no doubt that if the government had agreed to such a proposal, then by now the truth would have been known as to who killed him and why.

Therefore, in view of the lack of any sign of commitment on the part of the Gambian authorities to investigate this heinous crime or invite other competent bodies for help, we are left with no other option but to call on regional bodies like ECOWAS and the African Union, or even the United Nations and the international community to assume their responsibilities and ensure that justice is done.

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