Press Release on the Mau Mau Reparation Suit
(Issued in Nairobi-Kenya at the Pan-Afric Hotel on May 10th 2009)
London-based solicitors, Leigh, Day & Co, have been instructed by the Kenyan Human Rights Commission to issue a claim for compensation against the British Government on behalf of the Mau Mau veterans. These, now elderly Kenyans, were assaulted, tortured and unlawfully imprisoned for a number of years during the brutal repression of the Mau Mau movement by the British Government which took place in the 1950s and early 1960s.
The Kenya Human Rights Commission has now documented 40 cases of castration, severe sexual abuses and unlawful detention, which were carried out by officers of the British Government. The actual number of Kenyans who suffered this barbaric treatment at the hands of British officers in fact runs into their thousands.
In recent years, following exhaustive research by historians, it has become clear that far from being the acts of a few rogue soldiers, the torture and inhuman and degrading treatment of Kenyans during the Emergency Period (1950s to early 1960s) resulted from policies which were sanctioned at the highest levels of Government in London. It was only after the tireless work of campaigners over a number of years and the revelation of the massacre of 11 Kenyans at the Hola Detention Camp that Britain was forced to close its detention camps and cease the barbaric practices it had been employing with impunity for so many years.
It is ironic that, at the time Britain was instrumental in the creation of the post war human rights treaties, conventions and institutions, it was violating basic human rights in Kenya on a breathtaking scale. As President Barack Obama recently recalled, during the Second World War, Winston Churchill was adamant in his view that %u201CBritain does not torture%u201D even when it seems expedient to do so. Indeed, Barack Obama%u2019s own grandfather, Onyango Obama, was unlawfully and wrongfully detained for months as part of the British Government%u2019s vicious crackdown on the Mau Mau movement.
Leigh, Day & Co will be issuing a claim on behalf of the Mau Mau veterans in London in June 23rd 2009. They are men and women from different Kenyan communities who are representative of the wider community of Mau Mau veterans.
 For example, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights  and the European Convention on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms