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Mau Mau Kenyans win right to sue UK

WIN: War Veterans in earlier protest

FOUR KENYAN war veterans have been given permission to sue the UK government for their alleged torture during Mau Mau uprising 50 years ago.

The High Court ruled the group of elderly men could take action over their treatment during the military conflict that took place in Kenya between the anti-colonial group, Mau Mau, and elements of the British army in 1950s to 1960s.

The decision means that the government will have to defend accusations of torture, murder, sexual assault and other alleged abuses at a full damages trial in 2012.

The four Kenyans, Ndiku Mutwiwa Mutua, Paulo Muoka Nzili, Wambugu Wa Nyingi and Jane Muthoni Mara, all in their 70s and 80s, claim that documents, which were seen by ministers in the 1950s and 1960s, prove that ministers in London approved of systematic abuse in the special camps.

A fifth claimant has died since the action began.

Speaking after today’s (July 21) High Court judgment, Foreign Office Minister for Africa, Henry Bellingham MP said:

“It is right that those who feel they have a case are free to take it to the courts. We understand the pain and grievance felt by those, on all sides, who were involved in the divisive and bloody events of the Emergency period in Kenya.

“Despite today’s judgment, the Government will continue to defend fully these proceedings given the length of time elapsed and the complex legal and constitutional questions the case raises. We have taken note of the judgment and are considering next steps.

He added: “Our relationship with Kenya and its people has moved on since the Emergency period. We are now partners and the UK is one of the largest bilateral donors in Kenya.”

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