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Gambia, The

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Ex-president Jammeh must be tried for the murder of journalist and union leader24-07-2019

On 22nd July, a Gambian army officer accused ex-president Yahya Jammeh of ordering the 2004 murder of journalist and former head of the Gambia Press Union (GPU) Deyda Hydara.

Deyda Hydara was shot in his car near the Gambian capital Banjul on 16 December, 2004. He was editor of the independent daily The Point and a correspondent for AFP news agency. He was known for being critical of the government.

The accusation was made before Gambia’s Truth, Reconciliation and Reparations Commission (TRRC) by Lieutenant Malick Jatta, who has been held in custody over this case since February 2017. “We opened fire, myself, Alieu Jen and Sana Manjang,” he said. Alieu Jen is also in prison while Sana Manjang was charged but is on the run. Malick Jatta has accused Yahya Jammeh of being the mastermind behind the crime.

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) joins its affiliate the GPU in demanding that Jammeh is brought to trial in the Gambia. IFJ General Secretary Anthony Bellanger said: “We have been asking for justice for our brother Deyda Hydara for many years, and it is time to end the impunity. We call on the Gambian government to request Yahya Jammeh’s extradition so that he can stand trial where his alleged crimes were committed.”

Prohibition of trade union activities, arbitrary arrests and the death of a trade union leader while in detention 29-02-2016

In January 2016, the President of Gambia responded to trade union protests against customs tax increases and fuel prices by issuing a Presidential Order banning union activities of the Gambian National Transport Control Association (GNTCA). Several union leaders were arrested during the protest action that took place in February 2016. One of them, Sheriff Diba of the Gambian Transport Control Association, died on 21 February while in detention in Mile 2 prison. Sheriff Diba’s death was reportedly the result of abuse and torture received in the offices of the National Intelligence Agency (NIA). Following the incident, the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) filed a complaint with the ILO International Labour Organization A tripartite United Nations (UN) agency established in 1919 to promote working and living conditions. The main international body charged with developing and overseeing international labour standards.

See tripartism, ITUC Guide to international trade union rights
, urging investigation of violations of trade union rights in the country and an independent inquiry into the circumstances of Sheriff Diba’s death.

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