Kenya torture claims ruling due

Three victims of torture during the Mau Mau uprising will learn today whether their compensation claims against the British Government can proceed.

Kenyan torture victim: Crimes cannot go unpunished

Jane Muthoni Mara
Jane Muthoni Mara wants the British Government to compensate her for her suffering Credit: Stefan Rousseau/PA Archive/Press Association Images

Jane Muthoni Mara said she felt "completely and utterly violated" after sexual torture.

She is demanding compensation for her suffering.

Jane said: "I want the British citizens of today to know what their forefathers did to me and to so many others. These crimes cannot go unpunished and forgotten."

Torture victim brings case so he can 'die in peace'

Wambugu Wa Nyingi
Wambugu Wa Nyingi delivering a petition to Downing Street in June 2009 Credit: Stefan Rousseau/PA Archive/Press Association Images

Mr Nyingi said he had brought the case because he wanted the world to know about the years he had lost and "what was taken from a generation of Kenyans".

He said: "If I could speak to the Queen I would say that Britain did many good things in Kenya but that they also did many bad things."

"I do not hold her personally responsible but I would like the wrongs which were done to me and other Kenyans to be recognised by the British Government so that I can die in peace."

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Kenyan torture victim still bear the scars

Mr Nyingi, 84, said he was arrested on Christmas Eve 1952 and detained for about nine years.

During that time, he was beaten unconscious in an incident in 1959 at Hola camp in which 11 men were clubbed to death.

He says he still bears marks from leg manacles, whipping and caning.

When I was released I would have nightmares about three times a week. I would dream about the murder of people at Hola. These nightmares continued for about four years.

When people talk about the Mau Mau or the colonial era I think about the terrible events I lived through. When these thoughts are triggered I get so sad and stressed about what happened that I develop a headache and I cannot work.

I feel I was robbed of my youth and that I did not get to do the things I should have done as a young man.

Government argues Mau Mau case is too old to go to trial

The Government has argued that too much time has passed to allow a fair trial over alleged atrocities by British authorities in Kenya in the 1950s.

Guy Mansfield QC said the Foreign and Commonwealth Office faced "irredeemable difficulties" with witnesses and documents to defend the claim.

Without those witnesses, and indeed with the necessarily limited recollections of those who do survive, the very complicated and difficult task of determining the competing factual positions cannot be fairly conducted.

There is a dearth of evidence which can be given as to what was in people's minds when they made decisions and sent or read telegrams or attended meetings or were told of matters or visited places.

Tutu urges government to show 'magnanimity and compassion'

Archbishop Desmond Tutu has called on the government to show "magnanimity and compassion" towards elderly Kenyans fighting for damages over alleged colonial atrocities during the Mau Mau uprising.

Desmond Tutu Kenya government
Archbishop Desmond Tutu sent two letters to the government in February and July. Credit: REUTERS/Mike Hutchings

In a letter to Prime Minister David Cameron he accuses the government of continuing to refuse to deal with "these elderly torture victims with the dignity they deserve".

He adds: "It is high time that the British government showed some magnanimity and compassion."

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Kenyans take on Government over alleged torture

Kenyans representing alleged victims of torture deliver a petition to Downing Street Credit: Stefan Rousseau/PA

Three Kenyans who claim they were tortured by British colonial authorities during the Mau Mau uprising in the 1950s will make their case for damages at the High Court today.

Hundreds of Kenyans have made similar claims, but these three are the only ones to be told they have a chance of winning. Their case rests in part on an archive of 8,000 secret filed that were spirited out of the country when Kenya gained its independence in 1963.

The British Government is expected to argue that the claims are time-barred and that the window of opportunity is shut.