Magazine article New Internationalist

Torture Recompense Comes to Kenyans

Magazine article New Internationalist

Torture Recompense Comes to Kenyans

Article excerpt

26 JUNE

INTERNATIONAL DAY IN SUPPORT OF VICTIMS OF TORTURE

The regime of ex-president Daniel Arap Moi arrested Waweru Kariuki in the late 1980s. A political activist, he was held at the infamous Nyayo house torture chambers, where police tried to make him confess to belonging to the underground Mwakenya movement, which was then championing democracy in Kenya.

Life was never the same again. Kariuki lost his post as an hotelier in the resort town of Mombasa and, 25 years later, has yet to find another job. Micro-enterprises like a food kiosk have failed to yield a stable income. His family has led a life of poverty as a result - two of his four children have missed out on secondary education, and they struggle to meet pressing needs such as medical bills. Living alone in the capital, Nairobi, Kariuki has led a hard life.

But this may be about to change. Kariuki is among thousands of Molerà torture survivors taking advantage of Kenya's reformed judiciary to pursue compensation - however modest - for torture and subsequent loss of income. …

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