Alexa
  • Directory of Taiwan

Kenyan veterans to sue Britain for alleged torture

Kenyan veterans to sue Britain for alleged torture

Kenyan independence veterans will file a lawsuit against the British government next week for the torture they claim they suffered under British colonial rule more than 50 years ago, a spokesman for the veterans said Thursday.
The suit will be filed at the High Court in London on Tuesday and follows the British government's rejection of a 2006 demand for compensation and a formal apology, said Gitu wa Kahengeri, the spokesman for the 7,000-member Mau Mau War Veterans Association.
"What we are doing is for all the freedom fighters in Kenya. We are demanding compensation because we were in concentration camps for 10 years, our children did not go to school," wa Kahengeri told journalists. "We did nothing for personal gain."
Six members of the association, who are making the claims on behalf of the larger group, will be seeking general compensation of 50,000 pounds ($81,900) each, said Muthoni Wanyeki, the executive director of the independent Kenya Human Rights Commission. The non-governmental organization has been documenting the torture claims and helping the veterans prepare their case.
The veterans participated in the Mau Mau uprising of the 1950s against colonial rule. It was an insurgency by Kenyan peasants, with the core of the resistance formed by members of the Kikuyu tribe, along with smaller numbers from other tribes. On Oct. 20, 1952, the colonial government declared a state of emergency, launching Operation Anvil, a brutal military offensive.
The British described the Mau Mau as a group of bloodthirsty terrorists, and news reports in the United States and Britain during the 1950s made the name Mau Mau synonymous with African tribal violence against whites.
When the colonial government lifted the state of emergency in 1961, an official report determined that more than 11,000 Africans, most of them civilians, and 32 whites died during that period. Two years later Kenya gained independence from Britain.
The Kenya Human Rights Commission believes 90,000 Kenyans were executed, tortured or maimed during the crackdown against the Mau Mau and 160,000 were detained in appalling conditions.


Updated : 2021-07-26 12:31 GMT+08:00