Seven women who participated in a 1992 demonstration at Uhuru Park to push for the release of political prisoners will receive Sh17.5 million as compensation from the government.
The Supreme Court on Friday quashed previous rulings by the Court of Appeal and the High Court which had derailed their compensation, terming the matter a violation of human rights.
The court ruled that the rights of the women who were holding peaceful demos were infringed by the then government after police officers were sent to disperse them.
“A declaration hereby do issue that the appellants’ petitions in the High Court were lodged without inordinate delay due to the historical context under which the violations claimed occurred,” read a section of the court documents.
“A declaration hereby does issue that the appellants’ rights and freedom from inhuman treatment as protected under Section 74(1) of the repealed Constitution were violated by the Government of Kenya through the actions of its agents and/or servants (police officers and GSU officers).”
Each will take home Sh2.5 million.
The apex court indicated that the February 28, 1992 incident was within the basic human rights and police interference caused a “psychological or traumatic effect on them”.
“On 28th February 1992 a group of women together with their supporters congregated and camped at a section of Uhuru Park, popularly dubbed “Freedom Corner”.
“ They participated in a demonstration by going on a hunger strike to urge for the release of the political prisoners,” stated the documents.
“However, on 3rd March 1992 police officers stormed Freedom Corner and dispersed the demonstrators.”
The previous judgment questioned the time frame for filing the case and whether their rights were violated.
“There is no limitation of time in matters relating to violation of rights under the Constitution which are evaluated and decided on a case by case basis.”
“The psychological/traumatic effect can be equated to inhumane treatment which was a violation of Section 74(1) of the repealed Constitution.”