Three elderly Kenyans won a major victory in Britain’s High Court, giving them the green light to demand compensation for torture carried out by the British colonial-era government. A fourth claimant, Ndiku Mutwiwa Mutua, died before the decision was rendered.
While in British-run jails, the Kenyans said they were castrated, raped and beaten during the so-called Kenyan “Emergency” of 1952 to 1960, when British forces and their Kenyan collaborators cracked down on so-called Mau Mau guerillas fighting for land and freedom. At least 10,000 people died during the so-called Emergency.
Tens of thousands of Kenyans, many unconnected to the Mau Mau movement, were held in detention camps. Gitu Wa Kahengeri, spokesman of the Mau Mau War Veterans Association, was in London for the hearing.
"It's a great day for the Mau Mau war veterans that took the case to England for compensation. … The British colonial association did a great deal of atrocities to the people of Kenya when they administered our country without our consent." This verdict will likely encourage other claimants of torture worldwide from the colonial period to bring forth their own cases.
The British government said it intends to appeal the ruling.