Former soldiers lose case over torture for 1982 coup

A case filed by 62 former Kenya Air Force officers against the State has been dismissed.

The officers were seeking compensation for torture after they were captured and detained following the August 1982 attempted coup.

Delivering a ruling in Nyeri yesterday, Employment and Labour Relations Court judge Nzioki Makau said the case should have been filed in the High Court.

He ruled that the Employment and Labour Relations Court did not have the jurisdiction to decide on matters that touched on human rights abuses.

The ruling was a setback for the ex-military officers, who wanted the court to hold the State liable for the emotional and physical suffering they experienced when they were detained and later dismissed from the Air Force.

They told the court how they were captured by Kenya Army personnel on suspicion of participating in the coup and held for up to eight months at Kamiti and Naivasha maximum security prisons.

The former servicemen claimed after being captured, they were subjected to torture and degrading treatment by the army.

Their suit listed the physical and psychological torture ranging from physical beatings, being kept in solitary confinement and denial of food and water.

1982 coup1982 coup attempt