The British Government must apologise to the Kenyan
victims of colonial era atrocities.
In the 1950s and early 1960s thousands of Kenyans were subjected to unspeakable acts of torture and abuse at the hands of British officials, including castrations, sexual abuse and repeated beatings.
In April 2011 four elderly Kenyans travelled 4,000 miles from rural Kenya to seek redress from the High Court in London. The treatment they endured has left them all with devastating and life long injuries. They represent the wider community of hundreds of elderly Kenyans who are still alive and who were subjected to systematic violence and abuse in Colonial Kenya which was sanctioned at the very highest level in London.
It has taken years for the full facts to come to light as a result of recent exhaustive historical research by Professors at Oxford and Harvard which revealed, for the first time, the scale and the brutality of the abuse against detainees and the fact that the paper trail went all the way up to the Colonial Secretary in London.
There is no doubt that endemic torture occurred in Kenya before independence. All the leading academic experts on this period of history have filed detailed statements in support of the victims’ claims. The claims are also being supported by the Kenya Human Rights Commission and the Kenyan Government.
This campaign is not about re-opening old wounds. It is about individuals who are alive, who have endured terrible suffering because of the policies of a former British Government and who are seeking redress. They are not looking to the current British Government for large sums to compensate them. What they primarily seek is recognition in the form of an apology and a welfare fund that would enable them to see out their years with some element of dignity. In response, the British Government claims that they are not legally responsible for British colonial atrocities and that any liability was transferred to the Kenya Republic.
We, the undersigned petitioners, call on the British Government to treat these victims of torture with the dignity and respect they deserve. We call on the British Government to issue an apology to the victims and to create an appropriate welfare fund.
Mau Mau Justice Network