The government has been ordered to pay Sh25 million to five victims of police brutality.
Justice John Mativo said although no monetary award can erase the deprivation of the victims’ dignity, compensating them will go some distance towards vindicating their infringed constitutional rights.
He awarded the five Sh5 million each.
The judge said the police have the sacrosanct duty to protect the fundamental rights of citizens under their custody and prevent all forms of atrocities.
They are: Mr Eliud Wefwafwa, who was arrested on February 1995 over claims that he was linked to the February Eighteen Movement; Mr Patrick Musungu; and Mr Samuel Wangila.
Others are Mr Patson Kipchiris, who was arrested over links with the Sabaot Land Defence Force; and Mr Joshua Mark Okello, a former soldier arrested at the Eastleigh air base in 1982 over that year’s attempted coup.
Justice Mativo said when a citizen is arrested on allegations of committing an offence, their fundamental rights are not “abrogated in totality”.
Although the State wanted the cases dismissed over the long delay in filing them, the judge agreed with the victims’ lawyer Gitau Mwara that the five men were entitled to transitional justice and that no monetary gains could substitute true restitution for them.
“It is important to repeat that owing to the political climate of the day, it was impossible for victims of human rights abuses to seek court redress and this door was opened by the promulgation of the 2010 Constitution,” the judge said.
He said the old constitution prohibited police brutality and the vicious attacks visited upon the innocent citizens.
“There is no shadow of doubt that any treatment meted out to a citizen that causes pain, humiliation and mental trauma corrodes the concept of human dignity.