FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 23 May 2007

TIME TO GIVE THE CHAGOSSIANS THEIR ISLANDS BACK
Today, for the third time, a British court has defended what the Chagos islanders always knew was theirs – the right to live on their homeland. The UK Chagos Support Association welcomes today’s Appeal Court decision to uphold last year’s verdict quashing the Government’s secret and illegal attempt to banish the Chagossians from their islands forever. The Association urges the Government not to appeal again. Forty years after the islanders were evicted to make way for an American military base, it’s time to stop wasting taxpayers’ money denying them their rights. Instead the Government should return what was stolen from them, by offering resettlement and compensation. Robert Bain, chairman of the UK Chagos Support Association, said:

“The Government knows the Chagossians have no independent means to resettle the islands. To accept the islanders’ right to return but do nothing about it - as it did between 2000 and 2004 - would be meaningless and immoral.”

NOTES FOR EDITORS: The people of the Chagos archipelago were secretly and illegally evicted by Britain in the 1960s and 70s, so the main island, Diego Garcia, could be leased to the U.S. military. The British government has so far flouted two High Court rulings (in 2000 and 2006) that declared the evictions unlawful, and said the islanders should now be allowed to go home. It’s time for their suffering to stop. For further information contact: Robert Bain (Chairman) UK Chagos Support Association +44 7773 896 811 robertbain@chagossupport.org.uk

www.chagossupport.org.uk