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Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Centre asks gov’t to pay damages to families of Deyda, others

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By Kaddy Jawo

The Gambia Centre for Victims of Human Rights Violations has alleged that The Gambia Government has failed to comply fully with the three court judgments in the cases of Deyda Hydara, Chief Ebrima Manneh and Musa Saidykhan despite several notices from the ECOWAS Court.

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The Center made these revelations Wednesday during a stakeholders’ consultation meeting.
Priscilla Yagu Ceesay of the Center said that the family of the late Deyda Hydara has started negotiations with the government which resulted in half of the court ordered damages being paid and similarly, the family of the late Chief Ebrima Manneh has also received the damages that were awarded to them.

As for Musa Saidykhan who is currently out of the country, she revealed that negotiations between him and the government for a lower settlement and payment by installment did not bear fruit.
She added that no further payments had since been made to the Hydara and Manneh families as per the timeline agreed for the balance payments to be made.

The Minister of Information and Communication, Demba A. Jawo, said that three quarter of Gambians are victims “so we need to work together to seek justice for all the victims and the government is trying to make everything possible to see that justice is served.”
The National Assembly Member for Latrikunda Sabiji, Hon Saikou Marong, said they will do their utmost best as lawmakers to make sure that the government compensates the families of the victims.

The Gambia Press Union President Emil Touray, said when the cases were taken to the ECOWAS Court and judgment was delivered, the GPU issued a press release asking the then government to make compensation to those families but it was never done.

The National Assembly Member for Serekunda, Hon Halifa Sallah, recalled when Deyda Hydara was killed the media was gripped by fear and impunity ruled over while the perpetrators were out in the streets. He said those who fighting for justice were in prisons.
“The Gambia Press Union and other actors should never allow such to happen again in the history of The Gambia,” he warned.

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