By Thanasis Gavos – London
Following a sustained campaign based on a morally invincible argument, the Kenyans that had been asking the British government to admit liability for the colonial administration’s practice of torture and degradation of human nature, have managed to secure a compensation pledge from London. The compensation will be paid out to more than 5,000 members of the Mau-Mau tribe that were the victims of colonial brutality during the 1960’s.
According to British commentators, the decision of the British government for the out-of-court settlement paves the way for similar claims by other surviving citizens of former colonies. The first example that springs to mind is that of veterans of EOKA in Cyprus, the organisation that fought against the British colonial administration from 1955 until 1959.
The campaign is already a well established one, having made solid progress. A law firm in the Midlands has been carefully building the case for the dozens of former EOKA members whose arguments are not that different to those used by the Kenyans.
The president of the EOKA fighters Thassos Sophocleous has said that the Mau-Mau case would be a crucial step towards activating their own claim against the UK government. There are around 50 of his colleagues being represented in this specific case, and they hope that London will show the same spirit of responsibility and conciliation in accepting their demand. The final legal move, filing a lawsuit, is said to be a matter of a few weeks.
A revealing insight into the comings and goings of the colonial administration around the globe has been given by the declassification of the former Colonial Office’s archives this last couple of years. The National Archives say that two further tranches of these documents, referring to Cyprus and other countries, should be expected in July and September, in a timely coincidence.