Last week, President Yahya Jammeh, at left, discussed the unsolved 2004 murder case of editor Deyda Hydara in an interview on "One on One," a weekly program on The Gambia Radio and Television Service. The government "has for long been accused by the international community and so-called human rights organisations for the murder of Deyda Hydara, but we have no stake in this issue," media reports quoted Jammeh as saying. "And up to now one of these stupid Web sites carries 'Who Killed Deyda Hydara'? Let them go and ask Deyda Hydara who killed him," The Point newspaper quoted him as saying.
remarks on the shooting of the
For me, this is the latest attempt by the president to disassociate the regime from the case. In 2006, in response to questions about the case, Jammeh declared to international media: "I don't believe in killing people. I believe in locking you up for the rest of your life." The president also stated, "The whole world can go to hell. If I want to ban any newspaper, I will, with good reason." This came just three months after the arrest of journalist "Chief" Ebrima Manneh, who has not been heard from since, and followed a raid on my now-banned former newspaper, The Independent.
In this interview, Jammeh implied that investigations into the killing of Hydara, right, were stalled and should be conducted in neighboring
Yes, at least one of the eyewitnesses, former Point staffer
Ida Jagne-Joof, is living in
What the government of the
I would therefore encourage the government to invite international investigators to look into the case. Recently, the government invited the U.N. and ECOWAS (the Economic Community of West African States) to investigate the killings of Ghanaians killed on Gambian soil in 2005. That is an effort that is commendable. In the same vein, I think they should do the same for Hydara.
Madi Ceesay, a veteran journalist based in