In Pictures: Britain's iron rule in Kenya

Horrific abuses by British colonial authorities catch up in court with the empire after more than five decades.


Torture was part of a systematic campaign conducted by the British government to suppress the "Mau Mau" uprising in the 1950s and early '60's in Kenya.

The anti-British group had launched a guerrilla war against British settlers and Kenyan loyalists from the forests of central Kenya.

British authorities panicked and the colonial administration detained more than one million people, many of whom had nothing to do with the Mau Mau. Some remained incarcerated for as long as 10 years.

According to the Kenya Human Right Commission, about 90,000 people were executed, tortured, or maimed during the rebellion. Castration and rape were common forms of punishment.

Kenyan citizens never believed that those who executed these crimes would be brought to justice. But 55-years later, Justice Richard McCombe ruled in London that the British Government's Foreign and Common Wealth Office must answer for crimes committed more than half a century ago in Kenya.