It has been said — and it is a fact — that these 11 men were the lowest of the low; subhuman was the word which one of my honorable Friends used. So be it. But that cannot be relevant to the acceptance of responsibility for their death . . . In general, I would say that it is a fearful doctrine, which must recoil upon the heads of those who pronounce it, to stand in judgement on a fellow human being and to say, “Because he was such-and-such, therefore the consequences which would otherwise flow from his death shall not flow.”
Nor can we ourselves pick and choose where and in what parts of the world we shall use this or that kind of standard. We cannot say, “We will have African standards in Africa, Asian standards in Asia and perhaps British standards here at home.” We have not that choice to make. We must be consistent with ourselves everywhere.”The declassification of documents and lawsuits in recent years against the British government by Mau Mau veterans have also brought the Hola massacre back into the limelight once again. The controversy and fall-out from the massacre still hounds the British government even to this day. Ever the meticulous record keepers, a treasure-trove of declassified documents on the handling and cover-up of the massacre by the British government can be found and downloaded for free from the British National Archives catalogue. The documents reveal in detail, the false public relations counter-argument concocted by the British government that tried to downplay prisoner deaths at Hola by emphasizing the successful rehabilitation over 70,000 prisoners who passed through detention camps. In addition, the government tried to deflect culpability from themselves to low ranking civil servants including the Hola Detention Camp commandant Mr. Michael Sullivan and his assistant Mr. AC Coutts, claiming that they unilaterally acted inconsistent with the laid out colonial government policy. (this is despite a well-documented systematic policy of torture during the Emergency period not only at detention camps but throughout the colony) The following books probably provide the most detailed survivor accounts of what really happened at Hola:
- The White Spaces of Kenyan Settler Writing: A Polemical Bibliography (Cross/Cultures).Apr 13, 2017 by Terrence Craig. Google Preview
- Imperial Reckoning: The Untold Story of Britain’s Gulag in Kenya. Dec 27, 2005 by Caroline Elkin. Pages 344-353. Google Preview.