Government negotiates to settle Mau Mau claim

by Simon Collings

Those of you who have been following my posts about the  former Mau Mau detainees  might be pleased to know that the British government has suspended its legal appeal and is engaged in negotiations with the lawyers representing the litigants. The government apparently wants to secure a settlement. As many as 10,000 victims could be compensated, according to the Guardian, in a move likely to cost the UK millions of pounds.

The governments case was weak and international political pressure has been mounting. Juan Mendez, the United Nations’ special rapporteur on torture, called publicly on the government to ‘provide full redress to the victims, including fair and adequate compensation’. Along with two other former rapporteurs, he wrote: ‘In our view, the response of the British government to vulnerable and elderly victims of (acknowledged) British torture is shameful.’

The landmark negotiations signal a major shift in Britain’s stance on its former colonies.