Mau Mau Torture Victims Win First Round of Legal Battle Against Britain

Mau Mau
Mau Mau victims of British torture

Three Kenyans who say they were victims of torture and sexual abuse at the hands of British colonial rulers during the 1950s Mau Mau uprising have been granted the right to sue Britain.

Jane Muthoni Mara, Paulo Muoka Nzili and Wambugu Wa Nyingi told the London High Court that they were subjected to torture and sexual mutilation. The lawyer for the Kenyans said Nzili was castrated, Nyingi severely beaten and Mara subjected to sexual abuse in detention camps during the Mau Mau rebellion.

The fourth claimant, Ndiku Mutwiwa Mutua, has died since legal proceedings began.

The British government had argued through its lawyers that the former freedom fighters should have instead sued the Kenya government, which took over all liabilities after independence.

In his judgment, which gives the Kenyans permission to claim damages from the British government, High Court judge Richard McCombe said: “I am justified in concluding that the available documentary base is very substantial indeed and capable of giving a very full picture of what was going on in government and military circles in both London and Kenya during the ’emergency’.”