Monday, May 5, 2014

Gambia Government called on to investigate Deyda Hydara's murder

Photo credit: Haddija Jawara
Nine years on since journalist Deydara was killed, the Gambia Press Union (GPU), has calledl on the Gambia government to do justice in the murder of journalist Deyda Hydara killed in the line of duty.
 Late Deyda Hydara,  was the managing editor and co-proprietor of The Point newspaper, who was murdered on 16th December 2004. on his paper’s anniversary day. Gambian authorities has never brought the assassins to book
 ‘We call on the Gambia government to properly investigate and brought out assassins of Deyda Hydara,” Jibairu Janneh, executive director of the union said. “Our position still stands the same.”
Janneh was speaking on world press freedom day, a day used to remember colleagues who have been victimize for just speaking out the truth.
World Press Freedom Day is observed annually on 3 May to remind countries and people all around the world, that freedom of the press and freedom of speech and expression are fundamental human rights.
This day is often held to remember many journalists who have died or faced jail in order to bring news to the public.
Photo credit: Haddija Jawara
The government has also been called to do justice in the disappearance of Ebrima ‘chief ’Manneh, who went missing since 2007. Alarmingly, Gambian authorities cannot account for Manneh's whereabouts, and over the years have given evasive and inconsistent responses to regional and international inquiries.
This year’s theme for this day, as declared by the UN, is “Media Freedom for a Better Future: Shaping the post-2015 Development Agenda”.
Done in different styles in other parts of the world, The Gambia celebrates it at the Tango office in a form of symposium with panelists who made presentations in different topics.

Beyond supporting Gambian journalists with training, the Gambia government should create an open political space that allows news media to report on issues of public interest says UNESCO  NATCOM’s Matar Jobe.
Jobe said “It serves as reminder to government for their commitment towards media freedom
He believe Vibrant, independent media that hold government leaders to account are a valuable ally in the pursuit of development and good governance.
Only when journalists are at liberty to monitor, investigate and criticize policies and actions can good governance exist” he said.  
Free media contribute to good governance says Sam Sarr, Editor of the Foroyaa Newspaper. Sarr was presenting a paper on ‘free media contribute to good governance, empowerment and eradicating poverty.
  “Freedom of expression ensures transparency and accountability,” he said. “The media serves as medium for the voiceless for change and development.”
He said African leaders often promise to protect its citizen but its People have no say in the way they are govern.
photo credit; Haddija Jawara
Ousman Yarbo, executive director of Tango believe this year’s theme is key in any development adding what would it look like without a media. .
"Journalism provides a platform for informed discussion across a wide range of development issues-From environmental challenges and scientific progress to gender equality, youth engagement and peacebuilding,” Yarbo.Noted.
“We need a free media without intimidation,” says Baboucarr Ceesay-Vice president of The Gambia Press union, who gave a solidarity statement.
 Ceesay also called on the government to produce chief Manneh, compensate Musa Saidykhan, and Omar Barrow who was shot in 2000 during a peaceful demonstration.

Author: Binta A Bah

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