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October 27 2012

Justice for the Mau Mau: Court Case in the U.K. Sheds Light on Grim Colonial Past

Time after time they stood defiant; slight, frail figures before the imposing grandeur of Britain’s Royal Courts of Justice, in the heart of London. The three elderly Kenyans—Paulo Muoka Nzili, 85, Wambugu Wa Nyingi, 84, and Jane Muthoni Mara, 73—stood in the same spot many times over the past four years, waiting patiently as they held aloft placards with the words, “Human Rights For All.” They came to the U.K. to ask for justice for horrors allegedly perpetrated against them over five decades ago in Kenya, when the British colonial powers that then ran the country cracked down brutally on the armed pro-independence movement, Mau Mau. On Oct. 5, their wait for their day in court finally came to an end when the British High Court ruled that their legal case, which accuses the British government of carrying out torture half a centuryago, could proceed.

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