Aletho News


Tortured Kenyans allowed to sue UK government

Press TV – July 22, 2011

Four Kenyans have been allowed to sue the British government over the atrocities committed by the UK army against the anti-colonial Mau Mau uprising in the 1950s.

The British Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) had insisted that the British government would not answer for the abuses committed by the former British colony and that legal responsibility referred to the present Kenyan government.

The recent decision means that the UK government will face charges of torture, murder and sexual assault among other alleged crimes.

Around 17,000 documents were found in the British Foreign Office’s archives, seen by the ministers in 1950s and 60s, which revealed the details of the UK army’s harsh measures.

Four elderly Kenyans Ndiku Mutwiwa Mutua, Paulo Muoka Nzili, Wambugu Wa Nyingi and Jane Muthoni Mara stressed that the documents from a paper trail showed that the UK ministers had approved abuse in their detention camps.

Earlier this year, Mutua and Nzili told the British High Court that they had been castrated, Nyingi had been hit unconscious, and Mara had fallen the victim of sexual abuse.

High Court Justice McCombe said that the claimants have arguable cases, which were fit for trial.

“I emphasize that I have not found that there was systematic torture in the Kenyan camps nor that, if there was, the UK government is liable to detainees, such as the claimants, for what happened,” he said.

The Kenyans’ lawyer said the ruling that the UK government could be held responsible for the anti-human rights actions in the colonies was a “historic judgment,” adding in the past 50 years his clients suffered the worst torture at the hands of the British Colonial regime.

“Castration, abuse, severe beatings, were just some of what they had to endure as the British tried to prevent the advance of the Kenyan Independence movement…Our government has seemed hell-bent on preventing that happening,” the lawyer said.

Recalling his clients’ sufferings, the attorney called for “some sort of justice, an apology, some sort of money that would give them peace in their final years.”

Human rights lawyer Paul Muite said what British soldiers did in Kenya, a British colony at the time, was “shameless and immoral.”

“These were terrible atrocities committed by British soldiers, not by the government of Kenya,” he said, adding that, “These people were fighting for justice, liberty and their land.”

July 22, 2011 - Posted by | Subjugation - Torture, War Crimes

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