Deal on cards for tortured Kenyans

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Kenyans suing Britain over torture during an anti-colonial uprising are negotiating with the UK government over a possible settlement.

Law firm Leigh Day confirmed talks were taking place but gave no details “due to the nature of the negotiations”. The Foreign Office declined to comment.

The case involves Kenyans who say they were beaten and sexually assaulted by officers acting for the British administration trying to suppress the Mau Mau rebellion in the 1950s.

In October, the High Court ruled three Kenyans could pursue claims for compensation. The government launched an appeal, although it did not dispute the claims of torture.

A settlement could bring payouts to thousands who have alleged similar abuse.

In 1952, then-prime minister Winston Churchill declared a state of emergency in Kenya and sent British and African soldiers to help colonial administrators capture fighters in the uprising and send them to detention camps. Thousands of Kenyans were detained, including US president Barack Obama’s grandfather, Hussein Onyango Obama.

The government wanted the case dismissed, saying it could not be held legally responsible for long-ago abuses.