Kenyan Women Win Legal Aid to Sue British Troops for Rape

Several hundred Kenyan women who accused British soldiers of sexual assault and gang rape won legal backing to take the British Army to court. According to the New York Times, the women’s lawyer said that these rapes have taken place over the last 26 years and have been premeditated and planned by British soldiers in remote parts of the country.

Many of the women raped by British soldiers have said that they were gang raped. Twenty-seven rapes were reported to have occurred near the Lekiji Village between November 1999 and March 2000. In addition, “the women and children born allegedly as a result of these attacks have been suffering in silence for over 30 years stigmatized, discriminated and outcast within their community,” said Irene Kahn, the Secretary General of Amnesty International.

Amnesty International has received information that UK Army officials in Kenya had been aware of some of the rape allegations since 1977. “The fact that so many rape claims over such a long period of time were neither investigated nor prosecuted shows a systemic failure of the UK army and may amount to institutional acquiescence which encouraged a pattern of grave human rights violations by members of the UK army,” Kahn said in an AI report.

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The New York Times 7/3/03; Amnesty International; The Nation (Nairobi) 7/6/03; The East African Standard (Nairobi) 7/3/03

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