Saturday, October 11, 2003

Evicted Indian Ocean islanders lose British legal battle: "Over 5,000 descendants of Indian Ocean islanders unlawfully evicted by Britain 30 years ago to make way for a US military base at Diego Garcia on Thursday lost their court battle to be allowed to return or be compensated. "It does appear that, in the absence of unexpectedly compelling evidence to the contrary, at least some claimant Chagossians could show that they were treated shamefully by successive UK governments," Ouseley said.

"The action Thursday on behalf of surviving Chagossians and their dependants was aimed at recovering compensation, restitution of property and an agremment on resettling them to the 65-island archipelago.

"Despite turning the legal bid down, the judge did accept the islanders had been mistreated. "The Chagossians alone were made to pay a personal price for the defence establishment on Diego Garcia", ... Ouseley said.

"Many were given nothing for years but a callous separation from their homes, belongings and way of life and a terrible journey to privation and hardship," Ouseley said. The US naval and air base on Diego Garcia, where most of the islanders used to live, has become even more important to the United States since President George W. Bush proclaimed his war on terror."

No comments: