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Last Updated: Tuesday, 18 April 2006, 15:35 GMT 16:35 UK
Kenya 'gulag' book wins US prize
Kenyan demonstrators
Mau Mau war veterans claim they were tortured
A book about alleged British atrocities against Kenyan Mau Mau independence fighters has won this year's US Pulitzer Prize for general non-fiction.

Caroline Elkins wins $10,000 for her book Imperial Reckoning: The Untold Story of Britain's Gulag in Kenya.

She says that many thousands of Kenyans died in British detention camps during the Mau Mau rebellion in the 1950s.

Her research also suggests British colonial officials exaggerated the number of people killed by the rebels.

Attacks by Mau Mau fighters on white settlers in Kenya threw colonial society into panic and Britain imposed a state of emergency in 1952.

Compensation calls

From investigations into colonial records and interviews with several hundred survivors, Ms Elkins details the crackdown of the rebellion and the Kikuyu community.

"I now believe there was in late colonial Kenya a murderous campaign to eliminate Kikuyu people that left tens of thousands, perhaps hundreds of thousands dead," the Harvard University historian writes in the book.

Official estimates say 11,000 Mau Mau were killed by British forces.

The allegations in the book include rape, torture, murder and theft of property.

War veterans who claim they were tortured in detention want compensation from the UK.




SEE ALSO:
Hurricane papers scoop Pulitzers
18 Apr 06 |  Entertainment
Kenya lifts ban on Mau Mau
31 Aug 03 |  Africa
Monuments for the Mau Mau
22 Mar 01 |  Africa
Country profile: Kenya
29 Oct 02 |  Country profiles


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