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UK to Compensate Kenyan Victims of Sexual Sadism

UK to Compensate Kenyan Victims of Sexual Sadism
 
Barack Obama’s grandfather was British torture victim
 
1950s male nationalists subjected to rape & castration
 
Abuses pandered to homophobic prejudice & fear of demasculinisation
 
The UK government is holding confidential talks to agree a settlement with Kenyan men - and some women - who were sexually abused and tortured by British forces, during the 1950s independence struggle.
 
“Male Kenyan nationalists were stripped naked and subjected rape, castration and forcible sodomisation with truncheons and sticks by British colonial police, soldiers and prison warders. Sexual sadism was used as a weapon of war, to deliberately humiliate, degrade and dehumanise men who supported Kenyan self-rule. These abuses pandered to homophobic prejudice and the fear of demasculinisation,” said Peter Tatchell, Director of the human rights organisation, the Peter Tatchell Foundation. 
 
“One of the men abused was Hussein Onyango Obama, the grandfather of President Barack Obama. According to his widow, British soldiers forced pins into his buttocks and fingernails and crushed his testicles,” added Mr Tatchell.
 
“Despite grotesque, widespread sexual abuse, the British government has long refused to compensate Kenyans - male and female - who were sexually abused and tortured during the Mau Mau independence struggle against British colonial occupation. READ: http://bit.ly/TdjXD6
 
“Now, however, having lost a succession of court cases, the UK government is in secret talks with Kenyan nationalist victims to secure a legal settlement.
READ: http://bit.ly/13gHKDE
 
“Payments to thousands of Kenyans who were tortured during 1950s liberation struggle will hopefully open the door to redress for victims of Britain’s other colonial wars in Malaya, Aden, Cyprus and the north of Ireland.
 
“The British authorities appear to have cynically dragged out legal proceedings in the hope that most of the victims will die, in order to cut the compensation bill.
 
“As well as sexual torture, Kenyan detainees were subjected to beatings, starvation, forced labour and the denial of medical treatment. Some victims were roasted alive. A favourite method was stamping on a detainee's throat while stuffing mud into their mouths, alongside threats that any attempt to resist would result in them being beaten unconscious. When prisoners died under interrogation their deaths were blamed on ‘drinking too much water’ - rather than violence by state agents.
 
“A Nairobi judge, Arthur Cram, in 1954 compared the methods employed to those of the Gestapo.
 
“The UK government condemns torture in Syria and Zimbabwe but for many years it opposed redress for Kenyans who suffered torture at the hands of the British colonial administration. This is pure hypocrisy.
 
“At the start of the Kenya self-rule struggle in 1953, the colony’s attorney general, Eric Griffith-Jones, privately conceded that the abuses were ‘distressingly reminiscent of conditions in Nazi Germany or Communist Russia’.
 
“At least 78,000 Kenyan nationalist sympathisers were interned without trial in a network of quasi concentration camps. Hundreds died from the abuses inflicted upon them.
 
“I cited some of these abuses in 1985 in my book Democratic Defence, which was, among other things, a critique of British colonial policy. I wrote:
 
 On 24 April 1954, in the war against the Kenyan nationalists, the British security forces mounted “Operation Anvil” to screen the entire African population of Nairobi in a dragnet for supporters of the pro-independence Land Freedom Army. On that one day, over 16,000 suspects were carted off to prison camps; a further 62,000 were detained without trial at various points during the war. Conditions in the camps were appalling – 350 prisoners died from maltreatment in 1954 alone. Hard labour, severe beatings, long spells in solitary confinement and darkness and deprivation of food, water and medical attention were commonplace. Rape and castration were also inflicted on detainees. At the notorious Hola Camp, 11 detainees were beaten to death by prison officers in 1959 after refusing to do forced labour in protest at the barbaric conditions. No one was ever prosecuted for their murder.
 
“It is shocking that for five decades the UK government refused to apologise and compensate the survivors,” said Mr Tatchell.

ENDS

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