1 Journalist Murdered in Gambia since 1992

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Deyda Hydara

The Point

December 16, 2004, in Banjul, Gambia

Hydara, managing editor and co-owner of the independent newspaper The Point, as well as a correspondent for Agence France-Presse (AFP) and Reporters without Borders (RSF), was shot in the head and chest by unidentified assailants while he drove home from his office in the capital, Banjul, late that night. Two other staff members of The Point, Ida Jagne-Joof and Nyang Jobe, were in the car with Hydara and were wounded in the attack.

The shooting occurred two days after the Gambian National Assembly passed two contentious pieces of media legislation that Hydara, along with other local independent journalists, had strongly opposed. One of the new laws imposes lengthy jail terms for reporters convicted of defamation or sedition. 

Hydara also wrote two columns for The Point that frequently criticized the government, according to local journalists.

In the years before the killing, Gambian journalists and media outlets have been targeted in successive arson attacks, for which no one has been prosecuted. The most recent attack occurred in August, when the home of BBC correspondent Ebrima Sillah was burned down following a threatening letter sent to the BBC accusing Sillah's reporting of being biased against President Jammeh.

In the prior two years, unidentified assailants have twice set fire to property belonging to the private, Banjul-based Independent, which is known for its critical stance toward the government. These attacks resembled an August 2000 arson attack on the offices of the independent Banjul-based station Radio 1 FM.

Medium: Print

Job: Editor

Gender: Male

Local or Foreign: Local

Freelance: No

Type of Death: Murder

Suspected Source of Fire: Government Officials

Impunity: Yes

Taken Captive: No

Tortured: No

Threatened: No