GPU observes anniversary of Deyda Hydara’s killing

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By Alagie Manneh A commemoration marking the 14th anniversary of the killing of journalist Deyda Hydara was observed yesterday in Kanifing. The former president and one of the founders of the Gambia Press Union was gunned down by so far unidentified people on 16 December, 2004. Fourteen years on however, his killers are yet to be brought to book. “We will not rest until his killers are accounted for their crimes,” Baba Hydara, a son of the slain journalist, said Sunday in a joint press conference by the GPU and justice minister at Tango. Publisher Pap Saine, who worked with Deyda and established The Point newspaper together, spoke fondly of the slain journalist and said all he wanted was a liberated Gambia, where citizens can freely express themselves and their rights protected. “We need as soon as possible the abolishment of all draconian media laws. That was what Deyda fought for,” he said. The president of the GPU Sheriff Bojang Jr, said despite his unfortunate brutal killing, Deyda lived a fulfilled life. “The freedom we claim to be enjoying today is thanks in large part to Deyda Hydara. The lesson we need to learn here is that we don’t need to wait till we are harmed to take action against injustice.” Sheriff told the gathering to “not relent. We should continue the fight to keep the hopes of Deyda alive.” Justice Minister Abubacarr Tambadou said Deyda gave his life for the freedom of the masses. He said that is why a review and amendment of some of the country’s draconian media laws and others is under way. “A review of our criminal code and criminal procedure and through this, we intend to deal with the many draconian media laws put in place by the former government.” The main event will be held on 23 December at the Djembe Beach Hotel featuring memorial lecture series, which will be delivered by Baba Galleh Jallow, the executive secretary of the TRRC. Another important highlight of the commemoration will be the launch of the Media Council of The Gambia. It will also see the launch of the professional Journalism Card Scheme.]]>

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