By Sanna Camara
Marie-Pierre Hydara, daughter of slain journalist Deyda Hydara, has yesterday told journalists in Dakar that her father was shot three times in cold blood by assassins ten years ago in The Gambia.
At a press conference organized by UN free expression agency Article 19 and rights group partners in commemorating the tenth year anniversary of the assassination, Ms. Hydara said their family was brought to their knees “with utter dismay and disgust at the horrendous manner in which a daring and fearless journalist was cowardly snatched away from us.”
“Our dad was shot three times in cold blood, the very system that is supposed to safeguard the lives of our own people failed flatly from the very onset, whether by intention or default, in showing no interest or any humanity in apprehending his killers, or their cohorts,” said Ms. Hydara.
“Our only comfort was that he died for his ideals. Your mobilisation and solidarity is what keeps us going,” Marie, who lives and works in the UK, and flew in purposely to take part in this year’s celebrations in Dakar told journalists.
Whatever purpose Deyda’s killing was for, has failed flat
She went on: “Ten years without justice arouse the question whether the Gambia government was ever interested in finding the killers… or the so-called investigation that was called was not just a smoke screen with the fog of international community that were calling for investigations into the murder. Whatever purpose Deyda’s killing was for, has failed flat. Because if it was meant to silence the press, some of you are fighting tooth and nail to get us the justice we or he deserves.”
“Today, with your help, our cries and calls for justice are echoing… each one of you have participated in trying to get u the justice that Deyda deserve. He stood up for what he believes and died a champion of press freedom.
“Your dedication, steadfastness and will to continue this battle is ever so touching. Each time, it brings tears of joy to our heart. We thank you all… we call on human rights and press freedom organisations to join us in our call for justice for Deyda.
“When we embarked on this quest for answers ten years ago with a two-million-dollar-question, “Who killed Deyda Hydara?” – We didn’t have any gun to fight back. We didn’t have a TV or radio to cry out for help. We were one family lost… where disbelievers will led us astray without the guidance of the almighty Allah.