‘Gambia government could be complicit in Deyda murder’

By Sanna Camara

The fact that the Gambia government has refused to investigate the assassination of Deyda Hydara ten years since it occurred ‘is making them complicit in the assassination in a way’, said Mr. Francois Patuel, Amnesty International Campaign Manager for West Africa.

Francois Patuel

Speaking to Gambia Beat on the sidelines of yesterday’s press conference held to commemorate the tenth anniversary of the murder of journalist Hydara in Dakar, Mr Patuel said although it is up to the investigations to demonstrate who is complicit, “certainly if the Gambian authorities have nothing to lose and nothing to hide, they should be investigating this case.”

“It’s an extremely sad day. He (Deyda) was targeted because of his work. And the efforts of Gambian authorities to cover and the lack of investigations in his murder are a demonstration of the attempt of Gambian authorities to undermine the work of Gambian journalists and stifle dissent in the country,” Mr Patuel argued.

There was no ballistic analysis done

Mr Patuel said to understand the scale of “the lack of investigations”, there was no ballistic report [produced by the investigation] that was ordered by the Gambian authorities. “He was shot three times. Two people were injured in his car at the same time, and yet there was no ballistic analysis done at the crime scene. This really demonstrates the lack of proper investigations into the case,” the human rights advocate said.

Francois Patuel 2

“And the community court of justice for ECOWAS has delivered a very strong ruling on this case, and has condemned the Gambia for its lack of investigations – a serious and impartial investigations – into the case of Deyda Hydar, and awarded his family $50, 000 compensation.

“Amnesty international, Article 19 and all the oganisations present here today call on Gambian authorities to implement ECOWAS court ruling in Deyda Hydara’s case, so that his family can get adequate compensation for his death…

“Even more importantly, there must be an impartial, thorough investigation in his murder. And that the people responsible are brought to justice in a fair trial,” he added.

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