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14-year old boy recounts torture, forced circumcision

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MERU-BOY-CUTNAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 25 – It was on a Saturday afternoon when 14 year-old *Tom* (not his real name) decided to enter a seclusion room where boys stay after circumcision.

In the Meru tradition, such a seclusion house is referred to as a Kianda.

It is surrounded by a semi permanent fence made up of green palm leaves that signify it is a restricted area.

The Kianda has a fireplace and the fire does not go off from the day the boys enter after circumcision until when they leave, which is usually after about a month.

The area is out of bounds for women and uncircumcised boys.

If an adolescent or teenage boy enters a Kianda, he has to face the circumciser’s knife.

That is how Tom met his ordeal about nine days ago.

Though he was shy to explain what inspired him to enter the seclusion room, he recalls the bitter blows and kicks meted on him by people well known to him.

“I met two men inside the house. The two men who are my neighbours rained blows and kicks on me. They hit all parts of my body even my head,” he emotionally narrated to Capital FM News.

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As if that was not enough, they used a hot panga to burn the lower and upper parts of his legs.

Gory images showing the deep, big, pink marks inflicted on him were posted on Facebook by a user who condemned the act and called for justice.

“What kind of circumcision is this? Why subject a child to such torture? The kind of suffering this boy underwent is unimaginable,” he stated on his account.

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