News24

Slain Gambian journo's family sues govt

2011-12-14 10:36

Dakar - Relatives of slain Gambian journalist Deyda Hydara are suing the Gambian government over his 2004 murder, a media group said on Tuesday.

The action was brought on behalf of two of Hydara's sons, who now live in Britain, and seeks a fresh probe into the killing, the Media Foundation for West Africa said in a statement received by AFP in Dakar.

"The state is required to conduct a thorough, rigorous, and independent investigation into the violent death of Mr Hydara that is capable of ascertaining the circumstances of the shooting," court papers state.

The case was filed at the court for the Economic Community of West African States in the Nigerian capital Abuja. The group aims to boost economic ties between countries across the region.

Hydara, 65, editor and co-founder of the independent newspaper The Point, and one-time Gambia correspondent for Agence France-Presse (AFP), was shot dead by unidentified gunmen in his car on the outskirts of Gambian capital Banjul in December 2004.

Human rights and press freedom groups have regularly denounced the arrests and disappearances of journalists in Gambia, which has been led by President Yahya Jammeh since 1994.

The official investigation into Hydara's killing stalled. Jammeh has denied his government was involved in the murder.

Amnesty International said in a 2010 report that 29 journalists have had to flee their country since 1994, mainly between 2009 and 2010.