A rare photograph of the Field Marshal of the Kenyan Land and Freedom Army, Dedan Kimathi, taken during the uprising during the 1950s. Kimathi was executed by the British in 1957. KLFA veterans are seeking reparations from the British government., a photo by Pan-African News Wire File Photos on Flickr.
Britain admits atrocities in Kenya
Wed Jul 18, 2012 4:53PM GMT
Britain has admitted that Kenyan prisoners were tortured and sexually abused under the UK rule in Kenya, local media reported.
For the first time ever, British ministers were forced to issue a public confession admitting that atrocities were carried out ‘at the hands of the colonial administration’.
The admission came via a Whitehall lawyer addressing three elderly Kenyans who had gone to the High Court in London to demand damages and an apology.
Now in their 80s, one of them told the court how he had been brutally castrated in a British detention camp during the Mau Mau rebellion - Britain’s bloodiest colonial war.
If the trio win their case, it would open the door to up to 20,000 Kenyan survivors of the Mau Mau purge to sue Britain for millions of pounds, using no-win, no-fee lawyers.
The Foreign Office is contesting the case because it officially denies liability and maintains the Kenyans have left it too late to make claims.
Yesterday, each of the three claimants walked slowly to the witness stand to deliver their graphic testimony.
But before Guy Mansfield, the Foreign Office’s QC, cross-examined them, he said: “I wish to make it clear that the British government does not dispute that each of you suffered torture and other ill-treatment at the hands of the colonial administration.”
The Mau Mau uprising began in 1952 to end British colonial rule. Britain initially dismissed reports of unrest, but later declared a state of emergency - introducing the death penalty for Mau Mau members. The violence ended in 1956, but the state of emergency was only revoked in 1960.