Kenyans renew efforts to sue UK govt.
Three Kenyans sue UK government over allegations that they suffered brutal torture at the hands of British colonial authorities in the East African country between 1952 and 1960.
Alleging torture by the UK colonial authorities during the Mau Mau war in Kenya in the 1950s, three Kenyan nationals have renewed their efforts to sue the British government.
Paulo Muoko Nzili, Wambuga Wa Nyingi and Jane Muthoni Mara took the British government to the High Court in London on Monday July 16 over allegations that they suffered brutal torture and sexual abuse at the hands of British colonial authorities in the East African country.
Demanding an apology and damages, the trio said they suffered “unspeakable acts of brutality” in UK-run detention camps during the Mau Mau rebellion between 1952 and 1960.
Following the discovery of a secret cache of the UK Foreign Office files that document the torture and murder of detainees by colonial officials, the claimants are expected to give testimony at the High Court in a two-week hearing.
Nzili said he was castrated by colonial officials following his arrest, Mara stressed she suffered appalling sexual abuse, and Nyingi added he was beaten unconscious.
On April last year, the three Kenyans along with a fourth claimant, Ndiku Mutwiwa Mutua, who died since the case was initially brought, finally succeeded to force the British government to release documents, which reveal the true horror of atrocities, the UK colonial system has committed against the revolutionaries during the Mau Mau uprising in the 1950s.
However, the Foreign Office said that the Kenyans’ claims cannot proceed as they have been brought outside the legal time limit.
Opening the case Richard Hermer QC, representing the three, said, “This is not a case where there is a dearth of evidence. This is a case where there is an extraordinary amount of evidence.”
Moreover, in an interview with the Independent, Paul Muite, a Kenyan lawyer who represents victims of colonial era repression, said that there were “thousands” of potential claimants waiting to see what happens over the next two weeks.
“The picture that emerges is that the British government is aware these victims are in their 80s and 90s and they are buying time for them to die out,” he added.
Meanwhile, in a letter to the British Prime Minister David Cameron, Archbishop Desmond Tutu accused the government of continuing to refuse to deal with “these elderly torture victims with the dignity they deserve”.