The BBC Newshour today had a story featuring a torture victim from Kenya seeking compensation for his castration, alongside other now elderly victims of colonial torture. The report also featured commentary from an Oxford professor, who claimed that not only were 70,000 other Kenyans in a similar situation (of beatings, forced starvation, even castration), but that this was sanctioned at the governmental level and in fact the British government had evidence to their complicity and worked to remove, withhold, or destroy this evidence. Listen to the eight minute segment here.
With Mike Huckabee recently trying to draw a spurious link between Obama and the Mau Mau uprising, I think it might be of interest to readers to actually have some background on the uprising, what it means to some of those involved, and what has come of it. The story above helps to shed some light in that direction. Also illuminating is an article by Paul Fedfern, which summarizes the UK government’s position that it is not responsible for colonially sanctioned torture, under premise of the doctrine of state succession — that is that the Kenyan government should now be responsible for what the UK colonial government did, as they have succeeded that state power. To me this seems a tenuous legal position (Kenya became a state power through something called the Nyerere Doctrine, not through wholesale succession), and an absolutely untenable moral position.