News

May 19, 2017

Arrest warrants issued in Deyda Hydara's 2004 murder

Deyda Hydara and his wife Maria, circa 1989 / Hydara family
Reporters Without Borders welcomes the arrest warrants that were issued in Banjul yesterday for two suspects in leading Gambian journalist Deyda Hydara’s murder in 2004. The warrants represent the first step in ending the impunity that marked former President Yahya Jammeh’s 22-year bloody dictatorship.


On evidence submitted by the police, Judge Isatou Janneh yesterday issued warrants for the arrest of Sanna Manjang and Kawsu Camara, two former members of the armed forces who were also members of the “Green Boys,” a militia that carried out dirty jobs for the dictator.


The journalist’s family had long suspected that they were his murderers but this is the first time they have been formally named as suspects. Both Manjang and Camara are currently out of the country.


Hydara was shot dead in his car in Banjul on the night of 16 December 2004. The managing editor of The Point newspaper and Banjul correspondent of Agence France-Presse and RSF, he was well-known for a column headlined “Good morning Mr. President” in which he commented on politics and governance in Gambia.


Democracy and media freedom seem to be returning to Gambia following the end of Jammeh’s long reign as dictator and press freedom predator in January. Gambia has risen two places in RSF’s 2017 World Press Freedom Index and is now ranked 143rd out of 180 countries.