The Gambia Press Union and the family of Deyda Hydara are pleased to announce that all is set for the commemoration of the 14th anniversary of the murder of Deyda Hydara, a former president and one of the founders of the Gambia Press Union.

Mr Hydara, also a co-founder of The Point Newspaper, was assassinated on December 16, 2004. Fourteen years on, the killers of the prominent journalist have not yet accounted for their crimes.

Every year, the GPU marks December 16th in various forms, including procession and public lectures; to take a solemn look at the Life and Times of Deyda in order to keep alive his memory. The event also provides a platform to discuss issues affecting the journalism industry and to promote greater sense of responsibility and solidary among media professionals.

This year’s event will feature a series of activities, including a joint press conference on Sunday by the GPU President, Minister of Justice and Minister of Information. It will also feature the official launch of the Media Council of The Gambia and Professional Journalism Card Scheme.

The GPU President, Mr Sheriff Bojang Jnr., said: “Nothing is more fitting than launching the Council in honour of Deyda, knowing how hard he fought against the then National Media Commission and the fact that he paid the highest price.”

The main event will be held on Sunday December 23rd at the Djembe Beach Hotel, starting 4:00pm. It will feature the Memorial Lecture Series, which will be delivered by Dr Baba Galleh Jallow, the Executive Secretary of the Truth Reconciliation and Reparations Commission. The theme is: ‘Safety of Journalists: National Response to End Crimes against Journalists.

Another important highlight of the commemoration will be the launch of the Media Council of The Gambia by the Minister for Justice, Honourable Ba Tambadou and the launch of the Professional Journalism Card Scheme by Minister for Information, Honourable Ebrima Sillah.

Both created by the GPU, the Media Council is a self-regulatory body for the media industry, charged to handle complaints against media while the card system introduces proper identification framework meant to facilitate the work of journalists.

The commemoration will bring together more than 200 media professionals and those concerned with press freedom and safety of journalists, including the government, civil society, students and members of the public. The events are being held in partnership with the Hydara Family, United Nations Democracy Fund and Westminster Foundation for Democracy.

Issued by the Office of the Secretary General on Thursday December 13, 2018

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