Total Pageviews

Friday, 5 October 2012

Kenyan Torture Shame and The Long arm of Justice

We often hear mention of the long arm of the law.

It certainly has a habit of catching up with some wrongdoers many years after the event. That has recently been the case with the Hillsborough Independent Panel Report which should finally see those who were at fault, on the day and in the subsequent cover up, brought to justice.

There have also been the convictions, this year, of Gary Dobson and David Norris for the 1993 racist murder of Stephen Lawrence –

We now add to this list the case of the Kenyan torture victims. They were subjected to the most horrific treatment at the hands of British Officials in the 1950s. These crimes were committed in our name. The government had argued that a fair trial was not possible due the length of time which has passed. But Mr Justice McCombe has today ruled that there can be a fair trial because of the extensive documents which survive.

It is disturbing that our government has tried to have these cases struck out because of technical arguments. Indeed Desmond Tutu and others has written to our PM to make this point –

"Our fear is that the British government's repeated reliance on legal technicality in response to allegations of torture of the worst kind will undermine Britain's reputation and authority as a champion for human rights."

It may be that the guilty individuals cannot now be brought to account, but the surviving victims are still entitled to justice by way of an open apology and compensation. It is shameful that they have had to fight to get this far.

These cases confirm again that if people fight for justice it can ultimately be achieved even if the wheels often grind slowly.

No comments:

Post a Comment