Tandem Law Welcomes the Decision of the Court to Recognise the Need to Compensate These Victims of Torture
LONDON, October 5, 2012 /PRNewswire/ –
Today’s judgement put to bed the argument that reparation claims should be dropped due
to the time elapsed since the Mau Mau uprising in the 1950s. The UK government has already
accepted its colonial forces tortured detainees. Mr Justice McCombe’s insightful judgement
has recognised the need to compensate the victims of these atrocities. Tandem Law greatly
welcomes the decision on behalf of their clients.
Tandem Law have been instrumental in putting into place a specialised and skilled
satellite department in Kenya to access and represent the wider community of hundreds of
elderly Kenyans who are still alive and were the victim of abuses during the Emergency.
Andrew Lindsay, Tandem Law’s Managing Director, says, “I am delighted by the Court’s
treatment of this case, and for those still living in Kenya who were tortured and horribly
abused by the British Government and its colonial agents. Hopefully the Government will
now do the right thing and accept responsibility for this terrible injustice and for its
delays and cover ups. The Government has taken advantage of legal technicalities to evade
responsibility and it is now time to unreservedly apologise for its gross excesses and
compensate the victims fairly.”
Tandem Law’s clients include Eloise Mukami Deddan Kimathi, the widow of Field Marshall
Dedan Kimathi, who was recognised as a leader of the Mau Mau and a statue of whom now
stands in the centre of Nairobi, and General Waweru James Karanja Nyoro, chairman of the
Veterans Association which represents many of the victims.
Tandem Law, together with Leading Counsel and Barristers from Byrom Street Chambers,
Park Court Chambers, St Pauls Chambers and Lincoln House Chambers, will continue to
represent our clients to ensure that justice is served. Tandem Law will take time to
reflect on today’s judgement and analyse how best to advise their clients to proceed in
getting redress for acts committed against them. Acts that the Government have already
conceded took place under their watch.
Whilst the current hearing has concentrated on a narrow selection of claimants and
tapered legal arguments, Tandem Law recognise that the atrocities that were carried out
during the time of the emergency parallel to some of the worst atrocities on record in the
We hope that the Foreign and Common Wealth Office will settle these claims
expediently, and that they will consider the matter in the round, compensating those
people forcibly removed from their homes and detained, rather than attempting to slough
off their responsibilities by concentrating on the relatively limited number of survivors
who were actively tortured and whose cases are the only ones thus far presented to the
Court. Our detailed investigations into our clients’ testimony open the door to legal
arguments the Court has not yet had the opportunity to consider.
Other nations have recognised their own responsibility for culpability in breaching
basic and fundamental rights of the individual in the 20th century.
In 1988, US Government signed legislation which apologized for the internment of
Japanese Americans. The legislation said that government actions were based on “race
prejudice, war hysteria, and a failure of political leadership”. The U.S. government
eventually disbursed more than $1.6 billion in reparations to Japanese Americans who had
been interned and their heirs.
After the Gulf War, Iraq accepted United Nations
[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_Nations ] Security Council
[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Security_Council ] resolution 687, which declared Iraq’s
financial liability for damage caused in its invasion of Kuwait
[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kuwait ]. The United Nations Compensation Commission (“UNCC”)
was established, and US$350 billion in claims were filed by governments, corporations, and
Germany paid Israel 450 million DM in Holocaust reparations, and paid 3 billion DM to
the World Jewish Congress to compensate survivors in other countries.
“Rawagede” decision 8 months ago in September 2011 the Court in The Hague ruled that
the Dutch State is liable for the damages that the surviving relatives suffered as a
result of war crimes committed in the Javanese village. The State cannot invoke the
statute of limitations. The matter concerns direct victims of the war crimes committed by
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For background information on Tandem Law, visit http://www.tandem-law.com.
SOURCE Tandem Law