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17.12.2004 General News

GJA condemns killing of journalist in the Gambia

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Accra, Dec. 17, GNA - The Ghana Journalists Association on Friday said it learnt with shock the murder in Banjul, the Gambian Capital of Mr. Heyda Hydara, 58, Editor of "The Point" Newspaper for being critical of draconian press laws passed this week by the regime of President Yaya Jemeh.

The GJA condemns without reservations or restraint this uncivilised behaviour of unidentified persons believed to be agents of the Gambian State security, against an innocent civilian for merely performing his duty as a journalist.

A statement signed by GJA General Secretary, Mr. Bright Blewu said, " We are amazed that enemies of democracy in the Gambia could stretch their naivety to this length by irresponsibly engaging in the suppression of free expression, which decent people all over the world have come to accept as an inalienable human right."

The statement urged "the international community to condemn this uncivilised behaviour in the Gambia and for ECOWAS and the African Union to demand the Gambian government to put a stop to the barbarism against the media in that country."

The two organisations should demand an independent investigation into the death of the late Hydara.

The statement described Mr Hydara as a fine gentleman and a responsible journalist.

Mr Hydara was treasurer of the West African Journalists Association (WAJA) during the presidency of Mr. Kabral Blay-Amihere, currently Ghana's High Commissioner to Sierra Leone.

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