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Justice at last for victims of KDF brutality in Garissa

Thursday September 08 2016
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A KDF soldier talks to a local in Garissa town on November 22, 2012. A Garissa High Court has ordered for the compensation of victims of torture by Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) soldiers five years ago in Garissa. FILE PHOTO | NATION MEDIA GROUP

By ABDIMALIK HAJIR

The High Court has ordered for the compensation of victims of torture by Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) soldiers five years ago in Garissa.

In a ruling delivered this week in Garissa, the court said the victims should be compensated for the pain and suffering they were subjected to by the KDF soldiers.

Justice George Dulu ruled in favour of four of the seven petitioners who sued the state for human rights violations.

He ordered that they be awarded varying amounts as compensation for the grievous injuries they suffered at the hands of the soldiers on November 19 and 20, 2012.

The soldiers ran amok and terrorized residents for several hours following the killing of their colleagues by suspected Al-Shabaab terrorists.

The soldiers were found to be responsible for torching of the famous Garissa Suq Mugti Market resulting in huge losses for businesses at the market.

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Ms Waraga Hussein who was shot and subsequently run over by a speeding vehicle when she fell had prayed for damages for loss of blood, suffering and recovery of medical costs.

Justice Dulu ruled in her favour and awarded her Sh1 as compensation for the pain and suffering.

Another petitioner, Ahmed Abdi Sheikh, whose bullet injuries to the leg resulted in an amputation was awarded general damages which amounted to Sh2million.

Other petitioners awarded compensation were Harun Haji and Hassan Galbinur in who the court awarded Sh400,000 and Sh1.8 million respectively.

“The action of KDF constitutes cruelty which is violation of Article 25 that provides the fundamental freedoms that shall not be limited which includes freedom from torture, cruelty, inhuman or degrading treatment,” ruled the judge.

Justice Dulu declared that he could not overemphasize that the soldiers were bound by the Constitution and were under a duty to respect, uphold and defend the supreme law.

Addressing Journalists outside the Garissa high court Yussuf Bashir, an advocate of the high court and Haki na sheria Initiative welcomed the decision to compensate the victims and termed it a historic event in Northern Kenya.

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