Legal interventions against (post­)colonial crimes committed by European states

Liesbeth Zegveld, Christophe Marchand, Mnyaka Sururu Mboro and Christian Bommarius

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The European governments engaged in violence on a massive scale during formal colonial rule and, later, in order to prevent independence and the full attainment of self-determination, autonomy and sovereignty of local peoples. Great Britain brutally repressed the Mau Mau uprising in Kenya and, in Algeria, people were systematically tortured and murdered. The involvement of Belgium in the assassination of Congolese President Patrice Lumumba still remains unexplained. Relatives of those murdered in Indonesia successfully sued for compensation in the Netherlands. Victims of the Mau Mau uprising have been awarded compensation in Great Britain. Which legal interventions were successful and how can they support the reappraisal of other colonial crimes? How can we explain the fact that the remains of murder victims and looted cultural objects are still stored in German archives?


Liesbeth Zegveld (Lawyer
Prakken d’Oliveira

Christophe Marchand (Lawyer
Cabinet d’avocats Jus Cogens

Mnyaka Sururu Mboro (Mchagga Teacher and Activist
Postkolonial e. V.
Germany / Tanzania)

Christian Bommarius (Journalist and Author, Germany)