Four Kenyans have won court approval to sue the British government for alleged torture during the anti-colonial Mau Mau rebellion.
The four Kenyans, all in their 70s and 80s, say they were beaten and sexually assaulted by British colonial officers trying to suppress the rebellion during the 1950s.
The British government tried to have the case thrown out, saying responsibility was transferred to Kenya’s government upon independence in 1963.
But British High Court judge Richard McCombe ruled Thursday that the Kenyans have “arguable cases in law” and that their lawsuits can proceed.
The judge noted that he had not found there was systematic torture during the Mau Mau period or that the British government is liable.
The claimants — Ndiku Mutwiwa Mutua, Paulo Muoka Nzili, Wambugu Wa Nyingi, and Jane Muthoni Mara — all came to London for the start of court proceedings in April.
Mutua and Nzili say they were castrated, and Mara, the lone female claimant, says she was brutally sexually assaulted.
The cases could pave the way for similar claims from Kenya and other former British colonies.
A British High Court judge ruled Thursday that the claimants have “arguable cases. voa