Court Orders Kenya to Pay Post-election Sexual Violence Survivors

A High Court in Nairobi, Kenya’s capital has ruled in favour of four survivors of post-election sexual violence in the East African nation, ordering the President Uhuru Kenyatta-led government to pay the victims KES 4 Million (about $35,000) each as compensation.

In Constitutional Petition No. 122 of 2013, the Court found that the Government of Kenya was responsible for a “failure to conduct independent and effective investigations and prosecutions of SGBV [Sexual and Gender-Based Violence]-related crimes during the post-election violence.”

The judgement marks the first time ever in Kenya that post-election sexual violence has been legitimately recognised by the government and survivors have been offered compensation for harm suffered. The judgement was announced on December 10, which is the International Human Rights Day.

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“After more than seven years of litigation and delays, some justice has finally been served,” said Naitore Nyamu, head of the Kenya office of Physicians for Human Rights, one of the co-petitioners that brought the case in 2013.

“This is a historic day for survivors of the rampant sexual violence perpetrated in the aftermath of the 2007 election, who have waited for accountability for far too long. The court’s decision will reverberate widely for the prevention, investigation and prosecution of sexual and gender-based violence in Kenya and around the world.”

The decision is marred by the fact that the court recognized the harms endured by only four out of the eight survivor-petitioners.

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“We are happy that the court has finally recognised the harm that we suffered as victims. It has been a long journey,” said one of the female survivors of sexual violence, whom the court has ordered shall receive compensation from the Government of Kenya.

“However, we do not understand why the court separated us (victims) and did not offer compensation for the other 4 victims. We have been walking this journey together. We will continue the journey until the other 4 victims get justice.”

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