Human Rights Watch: The United States and the United Kingdom must compensate those expelled from the Chagos Archipelago

This content was published on Jun 15, 2023 – 10:37

Nairobi, June 15 (EFE). — The US and UK governments should offer “comprehensive reparation” to people forcibly evicted from the Chagos Archipelago in the Indian Ocean, fifty years after the last expulsion, demanded on Thursday by the Human Rights Watch (Human Rights Watch).

The human rights NGO said in a statement that both countries must “recognize the right of the Chagoss people to return to their homes, the prevention of which is a continuing colonial crime against humanity.”

In the 1960s and 1970s, the Chagos Archipelago was forcibly depopulated by the governments of the United States and the United Kingdom.

In its 2023 report, “This Is When the Nightmare Begins,” Human Rights Watch details the deportations that took place when the UK and US agreed to build a military base on Diego Garcia, the largest island.

The ship carrying the last Chagossians expelled from the islands arrived in Mauritius in June 1973.

“The UK and US have deported Chagoss citizens from their home country on the basis of lies and racism,” said Clive Baldwin, senior legal adviser at Human Rights Watch.

Human Rights Watch said British officials admitted in official documents that they lied to the United Nations about the existence of the Chagoss people and used “racist language” in writing them.

Baldwin added, “After half a century of Chagossian exile, the United Kingdom and the United States must finally begin to undo the damage done to them by recognizing the Chagossians’ right to return home.”

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The Chagossians and their families remain in exile in Mauritius, the Seychelles, and the United Kingdom, as London has prevented them from returning to the archipelago since their deportation.

The NGO claimed that “the Government of Mauritius, which is negotiating with the United Kingdom to return the Chagos Islands to its control, should publicly support the Chagos people’s right to redress on the basis of meaningful consultation with them.”

The Chagos Archipelago belongs to the British Indian Ocean Territory (BIOT), the last British colony in Africa. EFE

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