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Raped Kenyans win Legal Aid

Hundreds of Kenyan tribeswomen who say they were raped by UK soldiers have been granted British legal aid to sue the Ministry of Defence.

Sabina Gerald and son Her son is mixed race as a result of an alleged rape by a British soldier (c) Amnesty International

7 July 2003

Despite the stigma of being raped, 650 Masai and Samburu women have joined the action against the MoD, alleging that they were raped as a matter of routine by British troops on training exercises in Kenya between 1972 and last year. The women allege that the soldiers often hunted them down in packs and that they were often gang raped.

Complaints were ignored by the Police

About 100 women have police and hospital reports supporting their claims and about 40 women went on to have mixed race children, which they say were born as a result of the rape. Repeated complaints by tribal leaders and Kenyan officials were ignored by British Officers and despite the Royal Military Police having started a criminal investigation, Amnesty International are calling for public inquiry to examine why such serious allegations were not investigated.

Legal action can now proceed

The granting of Legal Aid for the women means that a civil legal action can now proceed. The women’s lawyer is Martyn Day of Leigh Day & Co:

“The granting of legal aid is a key step to us being able to gain justice for these women. As can be seen from today’s Amnesty report the evidence that the claims are true is overwhelming. I would urge the Ministry of Defence to bow to the inevitable and agree to pay out compensation to those claims that can be shown to be genuine.”

Information was correct at time of publishing. See terms and conditions for further details.

Information was correct at time of publishing. See terms and conditions for further details.

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