Kenya torture victims get compensation payment

Kenyan judges have awarded 21 former political prisoners almost $500,000 (£330,000) between them in compensation for torture they suffered in the 1980s, the BBC said.

They were among hundreds of people who were illegally detained and tortured during the government of President Daniel Arap Moi, who retired in 2002. His government always denied torture, but more than two decades ago, while he was still in power, 21 former prisoners tried to sue the administration for violating their fundamental rights.

At the time, the court ruled that the case could not continue while the government remained in office. So it is only now – eight years after Mr Moi retired – that the case has finally concluded.

In the 55-page judgment the High  Court, held that the victims’ rights and freedoms under the Constitution were grossly violated in the hand of State security officers.

The judge said though many of them did not tender medial evidence of the  torture, their evidence was not contradicted by the State.

Among those to be compensated are Prof Edward Oyugi, Mr Silvanese Oketch and  Mr James Mwangi, who will receive amounts varying from Sh1 million to  Sh2.5 million each.

Another group which includes lawyer Rumba Kinuthia, Dr Odhiambo Olel and the  family of Mr Mbewa Ndede have since been paid Sh1.5 million each.

Attorney General Amos Wako has however said he would appeal against the ruling.

There are 24 pending cases by detention and torture victims seeking justice.

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