News / Africa

    Britain to Compensate Kenya Torture Victims

    Wambugu Nyingi stands outside the High Court in London, Britain, April 7, 2011.
    Wambugu Nyingi stands outside the High Court in London, Britain, April 7, 2011.
    Reuters
    Britain has agreed on a multi-million dollar compensation settlement for thousands of Kenyans tortured by colonial forces during an uprising at the tail end of the British Empire, a lawyer and expert witness said on Wednesday.
     
    Negotiations began after a London court ruled in October  that three elderly Kenyans, who suffered castration, rape and beatings while in detention during a crackdown by British forces and their Kenyan allies in the 1950s, could sue Britain.
     
    The torture took place during the so-called Kenyan “Emergency” of 1952-60, when fighters from the Mau Mau movement attacked British targets, causing panic among white settlers and alarming the government in London.
     
    Wambugu Nyingi stands outside the High Court in London, Britain, April 7, 2011.Wambugu Nyingi stands outside the High Court in London, Britain, April 7, 2011.
    x
    Wambugu Nyingi stands outside the High Court in London, Britain, April 7, 2011.
    Wambugu Nyingi stands outside the High Court in London, Britain, April 7, 2011.
    ​“We have agreed on an out-of-court settlement,” Kenyan lawyer Paul Muite, an advisor to the Mau Mau veterans seeking compensation, told Reuters.
     
    “[The negotiations] have included everybody with sufficient evidence of torture. And that number is about 5,200,” he said, declining to comment on the size of the payout.
     
    A formal announcement on the settlement is expected as early as Thursday.
     
    Britain's foreign office declined to comment on reports that the settlement would total 14 million pounds sterling.
     
    This would work out at about 2,600 pounds sterling - or 339,560 Kenyan shillings - per claimant in a country where average national income per capita is around 70,000 shillings.
     
    The Mau Mau nationalist movement originated in the 1950s among the Kikuyu people of Kenya. Its loyalists advocated violent resistance to British domination of the country.
     
    The Kenya Human Rights Commission has estimated 90,000 Kenyans were killed or maimed and 160,000 detained during the uprising.
     
    London tried for three years to block the Mau Mau veterans' legal action in the courts, drawing condemnation from the elderly torture victims who accused Kenya's former colonial master of using legal technicalities to fight the case.
     
    Caroline Elkins, a Harvard history professor who acted as an expert witness in the case launched in 2009, said the settlement would be the first of its kind for the former British Empire.
     
    “(It) should be seen as a triumph,” Elkins told Reuters during a visit to Nairobi for the British announcement.
     
    Elkins wrote the book 'Imperial Reckoning: The Untold Story of Britain's Gulag in Kenya' which served as the basis for the Mau Mau case.
     
    Britain had first said that responsibility for events during the Mau Mau uprising passed to Kenya upon its independence in 1963, an argument which London courts rejected.
     
    The government then said the claim was brought long after the legal time limit. But a judge in October's ruling said there was ample documentary evidence to make a fair trial possible.

    You May Like

    Video How Aleppo Rebels Plan to Withstand Assad's Siege

    Rebels in Aleppo are laying plans to withstand a siege by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s forces in likelihood the regime cuts a final main supply line running west of city

    Scientists Detect Gravitational Waves in Landmark Discovery

    Researchers likened discovery to difference between looking at piece of music on paper and then hearing it in real life

    Prince Ali: FIFA Politics Affected International Fixtures

    Some countries faced unfavorable treatment for not toeing political line inside soccer world body, Jordanian candidate to head FIFA says

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    NATO to Target Migrant Smugglersi
    X
    Jeff Custer
    February 11, 2016 4:35 PM
    NATO has announced plans to send warships to the Aegean Sea to target migrant smugglers in the alliance's most direct intervention so far since a wave of people began trying to reach European shores.
    Video

    Video NATO to Target Migrant Smugglers

    NATO has announced plans to send warships to the Aegean Sea to target migrant smugglers in the alliance's most direct intervention so far since a wave of people began trying to reach European shores.
    Video

    Video Russia's Catholics, Orthodox Hopeful on Historic Pope-Patriarch Meeting

    Russia's Catholic minority has welcomed an historic first meeting Friday in Cuba between the Pope and the Patriarch of Russia's dominant Orthodox Church. The Orthodox Church split with Rome in 1054 and analysts say politics, both church and state, have been driving the relationship in the centuries since. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video How Aleppo Rebels Plan to Withstand Assad's Siege

    Rebels in Aleppo are laying plans to withstand a siege by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s forces in the likelihood the regime cuts a final main supply line running west of the city. They vow a siege will not be over quickly. But their plans are not being helped by squabbles breaking out among insurgent commanders.
    Video

    Video Used Books Get a New Life on the Streets of Lagos

    Used booksellers are importing books from abroad and selling them on the streets of Africa's largest city. What‘s popular with readers may surprise you. Chris Stein reports from Lagos.
    Video

    Video After NH Primaries All Eyes on South Carolina

    After Tuesday's primary in New Hampshire, US presidential candidates swiftly turned to the next election coming up in South Carolina. The so-called “first-in-the-South” poll may help further narrow down the field of candidates. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video Co-Ed Selective Service Stirs Controversy

    Young women may soon be required to register with the U.S. Selective Service System, the U.S. government agency charged with implementing a draft in a national emergency. Top Army and Marine Corps commanders told the Senate Armed Services Committee recently that women should register, and a bill has been introduced in Congress requiring eligible women to sign up for the military draft. The issue is stirring some controversy, as VOA’s Bernard Shusman reports from New York.
    Video

    Video Lessons Learned From Ebola Might Help Fight Zika

    Now that the Ebola epidemic has ended in West Africa, Zika has the world's focus. And, as Carol Pearson reports, health experts and governments are applying some of the lessons learned during the Ebola crisis in Africa to fight the Zika virus in Latin America and the Caribbean.
    Video

    Video Smartphone Helps Grow Vegetables

    One day, you may be using your smartphone to grow your vegetables. A Taipei-based company has developed a farm cube — a small, enclosed ecosystem designed to grow plants indoors. The environment inside is automatically adjusted by the cube, but it can also be controlled through an app. VOA's Deborah Block has more on the gardening system.
    Video

    Video Illinois Voters Have Mixed Emotions on Obama’s Return to Springfield

    On the ninth anniversary of the launch of his quest for national office, President Barack Obama returned to Springfield, Illinois, to speak to the Illinois General Assembly, where he once served as state senator. His visit was met with mixed emotions by those with a front-row seat on his journey to the White House. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.
    Video

    Video Exhibit Turns da Vinci’s Drawings Into Real Objects

    In addition to being a successful artist, Renaissance genius Leonardo da Vinci designed many practical machines, some of which are still in use today, although in different forms. But a number of his projects were never realized — until today. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Heated Immigration Debate Limits Britain’s Refugee Response

    Compared to many other European states, Britain has agreed to accept a relatively small number of Syrian refugees. Just over a thousand have arrived so far -- and some are being resettled in remote corners of the country. Henry Ridgwell reports on why Britain’s response has lagged behind its neighbors.
    Video

    Video Russia's Car Sales Shrink Overall, But Luxury and Economy Models See Growth

    Car sales in Russia dropped by more than a third in 2015 because of the country's economic woes. But, at the extreme ends of the car market, luxury vehicles and some economy brands are actually experiencing growth. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video Jordanian Theater Group Stages Anti-Terrorism Message

    The lure of the self-styled “Islamic State” has many parents worried about their children who may be susceptible to the organization’s online propaganda. Dozens of Muslim communities in the Middle East are fighting back -- giving young adults alternatives to violence. One group in Jordan is using dramatic expression a send a family message. Mideast Broadcasting Network correspondent Haider Al Abdali shared this report with VOA. It’s narrated by Bronwyn Benito
    Video

    Video Civil Rights Pioneer Remembers Struggle for Voting Rights

    February is Black History Month in the United States. The annual, month-long national observance pays tribute to important people and events that shaped the history of African Americans. VOA's Chris Simkins reports how one man fought against discrimination to help millions of blacks obtain the right to vote
    Video

    Video Helping the Blind 'See' Great Art

    There are 285 million blind and visually impaired people in the world who are unable to enjoy visual art at a museum. One New York photographer is trying to fix this situation by making tangible copies of the world’s masterpieces. VOA correspondent Victoria Kupchinetsky was there as visually impaired people got a feel for great art. Joy Wagner narrates her report.