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June 7, 2013

Man reads newspaper about Britain agreeing to pay torture victims
$30 million.

Britain Agrees to Pay $30 Million to Tortured Kenyans

Some 5,228 elderly Kenyans, who British soldiers tortured, maimed, castrated or raped during the country's Mau Mau Revolt in the 1950s, will receive £19.9 million ($30 million), William Hague, the British Foreign Secretary, announced in Parliament on Thursday.

"The British Government recognizes that Kenyans were subject to torture and other forms of ill treatment at the hands of the colonial administration," Hague said in a prepared speech, posted on Gov. UK ."The British government sincerely regrets that these abuses took place and that they marred Kenya's progress towards independence.  Torture and ill treatment are abhorrent violations of human dignity which we unreservedly condemn."

In 2011, the British High Court rejected the claimants' arguments that the liabilities from the colonial administration transferred to the British government, but the court allowed the lawsuit to proceed based on other arguments.

In 2012, the court ruled that three of the five cases could proceed. That prompted Hague to seek an out-of-court settlement with Leigh Day, attorneys for the plaintiffs.

Martyn Day, senior partner for Leigh Day, praised Hague for making Thursday's announcement, although it came after a four-year legal battle and two high court defeats for the government.

"During the run up to Kenyan independence thousands of Kenyans suffered horrific treatment in detention camps run by the colony," Day said in a statement. "These crimes were committed by British colonial officials and have gone unrecognized and unpunished for decades. They included castration, rape and repeated violence of the worst kind. Although they occurred many years ago, the physical and mental scars remain."

The abuses took place between 1952 and 1960 when fighters with the Mau Mau movement attacked British targets. Mau Mau soldiers were attempting to take back seized land from the British. Kenya gained independence from Britain on
Dec. 31, 1963.

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