Newsletter 05/12 - Apologies and reparations to the former colonies of the British Empire
On September 1, 2003, on the occasion of the fortieth anniversary of the independence, the Government of Kenya lifts ban on Mau Mau, which began in 1950 during the British colonial rule. This allows the creation of the Mau Mau War Veterans Association, that begins to take action to get apologies and reparations for the abuses suffered by its members.
On October 4, 2006 the Kenya Human Rights Commission presents to the British foreign secretary a formal request for apologies and reparations for the torture inflicted on Mau Mau, which is rejected on April 2, 2007 requiring to submit it to the competent court.
On June 23, 2009 Jane Muthoni Mara, Ndiku Mutwiwa Mutual, Susan Ngondi, Wambugu Wa Nyingi and Paulo Muoka Nzili issue a claim against the British Government for the tortures and abuses suffered during the brutal repression of the independence movement in Kenya by the British colonial government during the fifties and early sixties of the last century.
On July 21, 2011 the High Court in London gives the Kenyans citizens the go-ahead to pursue their legal action. In the previous months the requests of the court for the trial had brought to light that many documents of the time were kept secret and that they witnessed the brutality used by the British authorities in an attempt to suppress the Mau Mau uprising, with the systematic use of concentration camps, torture of prisoners with beatings, sexual violence, castrations and mutilation and murder, going as far as burning alive some prisoners.
On April 18, 2012 a first part of the documents is made public, clarifying that for decades Britain has destroyed thousands of incriminating documents that testified the violence and the horrors committed during the last years of the British Empire. The documents survived to the systematic deletion were kept hidden to the historians and to the public for half a century, guarded and supervised by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in a secret archive.
Colonialism Reparation calls for the United Kingdom, which has destroyed thousands of incriminating documents and kept hidden for decades many thousands which testified the violence and the horrors committed during the last years of the British Empire, to apologize and pay reparations to the former colonies for the whole colonial period.