Human Rights Watch Condemns Britain and the United States Over Treatment of Chagossians

In the 1970s, the people of the Chagos Islands were forced to leave their homes, claims Human Rights Watch, an organization that has characterized the move by Britain and the United States as a crime against humanity.

The Chagos Islands are the heart of British Indian Ocean Territory and are home to a U.S. Navy base at Diego Garcia, established in the 1960s. In 2016, the government refused to allow the Chagossians to return to their homeland, but did acknowledge that the original removal of the islanders was wrong. As a form of recompense, the government granted the Chagossians citizenship and set aside 40 million pounds ($49 million) to improve the lives of Chagossians around the world.

However, Human Rights Watch is calling for more to be done for the Chagossians. The organization is urging Britain and the United States to let the Chagossians return to the islands and to pay them compensation for their treatment. They argue that the Chagossians should not have been forced off their islands in the first place and that allowing them to return and providing them with compensation is the only way to make things right.

The government has yet to respond to Human Rights Watch’s demands and the fate of the Chagossians remains uncertain. 

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