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  • Originally published 07/31/2013

    Kenyan lawyer on quixotic quest to nullify trial of Jesus

    The conviction of Jesus by Pontius Pilate may be the most famous court verdict -- and perhaps the most consequential, since it led to Christ's crucifixion and the founding of a global religion.Now a Kenyan lawyer wants to overturn Pilate's decision, though he wants to keep the faith that flowed from it."The selective and malicious prosecution (of Jesus) violated his human rights," said Dola Indidis, a Roman Catholic who is petitioning the International Court of Justice, based at The Hague, to nullify Jesus' conviction and death sentence....

  • Originally published 06/24/2013

    Obama leaves father's birthplace Kenya off itinerary for Africa trip

    When President Obama arrives in Africa this week, there will be one notable omission from his travel itinerary: Kenya, the birthplace of his father and home to many of his relatives. Concerns about Kenya's political situation have trumped Obama's family ties. Kenya's new president is facing charges of crimes against humanity in the International Criminal Court, accused of orchestrating the violence that marred the country's 2007 election. Ahead of Uhuru Kenyatta's victory earlier this year, a top Obama administration official warned Kenyans that their "choices have consequences" -- a remark that now appears prescient given the president's decision to skip a stop in his ancestral homeland....

  • Originally published 06/10/2013

    Timothy Stanley: The British Must Not Rewrite the History of the Mau Mau Revolt

    Timothy Stanley is a historian at Oxford University and blogs for Britain's The Daily Telegraph. He is the author of "The Crusader: The Life and Times of Pat Buchanan."The Government has announced that Kenyans abused by British colonial forces during the Mau Mau uprising of the 1950s will receive compensation totalling £20 million, and that it regrets the “suffering and injustice”. Be of no doubt: these people went through terrible things. Wambuga Wa Nyingi, a former detainee at the bloody camp Hola, who says he was not a Mau Mau fighter, claims that he was “battered on the back of my head and around my neck repeatedly with a club”. His unconscious body was mistaken for a corpse and dumped in a room with 11 murdered men. Mr Nyingi slept among the dead for two days before he was discovered.But before we express regret or say sorry for anything, we have to make sure that we entirely understand what we’re talking about. In the case of the Mau Mau uprising, only one side of the story tends to be told – a story that serves a particular political purpose. It’s the tale of an evil imperial power that used internment and torture to keep hold of a beautiful African colony that only ever wanted to be free. It is a fantasy version of history.

  • Originally published 06/08/2013

    Welsh historian reveals key role in securing £20m payout for Mau Mau torture victims

    A Welsh historian’s expert knowledge of the British army helped secure compensation announced for Kenyans tortured during the Mau Mau uprising of the 1950s.Dr Huw Bennett from Aberystwyth University, unearthed new evidence showing the British government knew about and sanctioned physical abuse and torture of thousands of Kenyans at the end of British colonial rule.On Thursday Foreign Secretary William Hague announced Britain is to pay out £19.9m in costs and compensation to more than 5,000 elderly Kenyans who suffered torture and abuse during the Mau Mau uprising....

  • Originally published 06/06/2013

    Britain "sincerely regrets" Mau Mau-era abuses

    Britain announced compensation for thousands of Mau Mau veterans, saying that it “sincerely regretted” years of “suffering and injustice” carried out under its imperial rule of Kenya, but stopped short of a full apology.The brutal suppression of an independence rebellion led to torture, internment without trial and excessive numbers of executions, William Hague, the Foreign Secretary, said in a statement to Parliament.He confirmed that more than 5,200 claimants would share compensation from the Government of £13.9 million, but said that the out-of-court settlement did not mean Britain was legally liable for the abuses, although he said the settlement was about a “process of reconciliation.”“I would like to make clear now and for the first time … that we understand the pain and grievance felt by those who were involved,” Mr Hague said....

  • Originally published 05/09/2013

    Pankaj Mishra: Sun At Last Setting on Britain's Imperial Myth

    Pankaj Mishra is an Indian author and writer of literary and political essays. His books include Temptations of the West: How to Be Modern in India, Pakistan and Beyond. His new work, From the Ruins of Empire: The Revolt Against the West and the Remaking of Asia, is published in 2012.Scuttling away from India in 1947, after plunging the jewel in the crown into a catastrophic partition, "the British", the novelist Paul Scott famously wrote, "came to the end of themselves as they were". The legacy of British rule, and the manner of their departures – civil wars and impoverished nation states locked expensively into antagonism, whether in the Middle East, Africa or the Malay Peninsula – was clearer by the time Scott completed his Raj Quartet in the early 1970s. No more, he believed, could the British allow themselves any soothing illusions about the basis and consequences of their power.

  • Originally published 03/13/2013

    Illinois scientists find rare coin in Kenya

    Scientists from Illinois have found a rare, 600-year-old Chinese coin on the Kenyan island of Manda.The Field Museum in Chicago announced the find Wednesday. The joint expedition was led by Chapurukha Kusimba of the museum and Sloan Williams of the University of Illinois-Chicago. Researchers say the coin proves trade existed between China and eastern Africa decades before European explorers set sail....

  • Originally published 03/05/2013

    War crimes suspect leads early Kenya vote tally

    NAIROBI, Kenya — Uhuru Kenyatta, a Kenyan politician who has been charged by the International Criminal Court with crimes against humanity, was leading by a wide margin in the Kenya election on Tuesday, with nearly half the votes counted.Mr. Kenyatta, who comes from one of the richest, most powerful families in Africa and has been accused of bankrolling death squads that killed women and children during the chaos of Kenya’s election five years ago, was leading 54 percent to 42 percent over the second-place candidate, Raila Odinga, Kenya’s prime minister.But there was a wrinkle.