London, Aug. 28 (Reuters): A group of Nepalese former Gurkha soldiers who survived years in Japanese prison camps in World War II will appear in court in October accusing the British government of discrimination.
They will be represented by Cherie Blair, a top human rights barrister and wife of British Prime Minister Tony Blair.
The High Court today allowed the soldiers, all now in their 80s and former members of one of the most feared fighting units in the British Army, to appeal against the government’s decision to exclude them from special payments to former PoWs.
“All my clients fought in every campaign they were asked to. All were captured and made prisoners of war by the Japanese,” their lawyer Phil Shiner told Reuters.“Yet they have been told they were never part of the British Army.
“They were all loyal to Britain and yet have been told they do not qualify for the payments. It is insulting,” he said by telephone. The High Court ruled today that the case had to be heard in October because of the age and frailty of the claimants.