Victims suffering in Kenyatta case

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Saturday, July 26, 2014 - 21:17

The representative of the victims in the ICC case against Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta - Fergal Gaynor - makes regular reports back to the judges. The lawyer meets those people who have already been designated by the court as victims in this case. His latest report - dated July 21 2014 - highlights some of the hardships the victims have been experiencing.

We've picked out some of the most striking details:

  • Many victims are "deeply concerned about whether or not the trial will start". Some have "a general sense of fatigue" and the continued delay in the start of the trial has led some to "lose hope in the justice process".
  • Several different groups of victims complained that the government of Kenya was "biased in the way it was providing compensation to victims". Some felt that they had been neglected in comparison with others.
  • Some victims are struggling to meet their basic needs . Elderly victims, in particular, are in a bad situation and the health condition of many of the victim participants is serious enough to make them rethink how they are going to attend future meetings with their representative.

One story illustrates the issues:

One of the victims had recently passed away. At the time of the meeting, his body was still lying at the hospital because his family couldn't afford the mortuary fees, and the hospital would not release the body until the fees had been paid. "The victim had long suffered kidney complications following the post-election violence when he was allegedly brutally attacked and forcibly circumcised". In the report, Gaynor noted that this example is hardly exceptional and that the "indignity wrought on the victims of the post-election violence appears to follow them even after they have died".

The full report is available on the ICC’s website.

An earlier version of this story appeared on The Hague Trials Kenya

Lead image: A picture of an elderly woman's feet. She was staying at a relocation site for internally displaced persons in the Rift Valley region on 5 August 2009 (Photo: Jose Miguel Calatayud/flikr)

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