UK aims to deny compensation to Kenyan torture victims

The British government has decided to contest a high court ruling that had allowed the surviving victims of UK colonial-era atrocities in Kenya to receive compensation.

The coalition government will pursue a route that could deny damages to three Kenyan victims of torture carried out by British colonial officials between 1952 and 1960.

However, British Foreign Office lawyers have admitted that all the three elderly Kenyans suffered abuses during the 1950s Mau Mau rebellion against UK rule.

Three Kenyan torture victims suing the UK government for compensation

The Kenyan citizens are suing the Foreign Office for compensation for the torture they suffered at the hands of British colonial authorities. Two months ago, London’s High Court ruled that the case could proceed to full trial despite the time elapsed.

Dan Leader of Leigh Day & Co, which is representing the three Kenyans, accused the UK Foreign Office of a “morally repugnant” move, as it has “admitted British torture” while seeking to escape its legal liability.

“This gives succor to brutal dictators, the fact that one of the principal western democracies is not willing to give redress to acknowledge and admit victims of British torture,” Leader added.

Earlier in July, in a letter to British Prime Minister David Cameron, Archbishop Desmond Tutu also accused the UK government of failing to offer the elderly torture victims who suffered beatings, castration and sexual assaults “the dignity they deserve”.

Moreover, in a personal letter to Cameron which dated October 9, Kenya’s Prime Minister Raila Odinga called on his British counterpart to wipe away a “stain” on diplomatic relations by paying compensation to the surviving victims of Britain’s suppression during the colonial era in the East African country.

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