Residents who were Forcibly Deported Seek Justice after UN Ruling in their Favor
The Chagos Archipelago is best known for the secretive US naval base on Diego Garcia Atoll but according to the UN and its International Court of Justice, the forced deportation of its residents 50 years ago by the British government to make way for a US naval base was a serious crime.
The United Nations General Assembly, African Union, and International Court of Justice have found that Britain’s deportation of the Chagos Islanders a generation ago and continued occupation of the Chagos Archipelago (British Indian Ocean Territory) is unlawful and a serious violation of international law. The islanders known as Chagossians claim it was a crime against humanity and a violation of the Geneva Convention.
According to the Complaint the British have stubbornly refused to permit the Chagossian to resettle the Chagos Archipelago due to the presence of the US naval base at Diego Garcia. The Chagossians have been denied access to their homes for over 50 years even though the UN recognizes their right to resettlement
The Chagos islanders are now seeking damages of up to $100,000 each under the US Foreign Claims Act which requires the US Military to set up claims commissions to handle damage claims by foreign citizens.
The Chagossians’ lawyer, Dr. Jonathan Levy, notes: “The damage claims are quite reasonable given the intense sufferings of the Chagossians who as a people were utterly devastated by their deportation. Even though there are several thousand Chagossians, their claims are capped at $100,000 each. The comparable US base at Camp Lemonier, Djibouti, costs the United States approximately $70 million per year to lease, the Chagossians who are the real owners of Diego Garcia Atoll are seeking only a small fraction of the back rent.”
Representative testimony by the Chagossians can be viewed at: https://tinyurl.com/letusreturn
For more information contact:
Dr. Jonathan Levy, Attorney & Solicitor