‘Britons are manipulating the justice': Displaced Chagos Islanders’ bitter reality

fe71000 dv434781 Britons are manipulating the justice: Displaced Chagos Islanders bitter reality

Bernard Nourrice, like many of the Chagossians, was deportedfrom his homeland in the 1960s, when the UK government evicted theislanders in order to lend the territory to the US. Nourrice saysthat in comparison with the political stance of the UK over anotherBritish Overseas Territory, the Falkland Islands, the Chagossiansare indignant there is no justice for them.“The Falklanders are living in their homeland. They had achoice whether they wanted to stay under the rule of the British orthey wanted to go to the Argentine’s rule. But we the Chagossiansdid not have a say. It gives me the impression that there is nojustice,” Nourrice told RT.In the wake of the Falkland Islands’ vote  to remain a BritishOverseas Territory or become an Argentinian state, following monthsof political tensions between the two countries, there has beenspeculation that the prospect of an oil boom in the Falklands would make iteconomically sustainable for the UK to protect its overseasterritory.Britain’s refusal to give the Chagossians a choice isoutrageous, Nourrice told RT.“You hear the British government talking in the news abouthuman rights and justice, but they are the ones that manipulate thejustice,” said Nourrice.In 1982 Britain went to war with Argentina over the FalklandIslands after the Argentinian government took the territory byforce.  The British government drained vast sums ofmoney to recover control of the territory and protect the rights ofthe islanders, at the exact same time Britain was also usingextensive resources preventing the Chagossians from returninghome.“For how long are they going to punish us? For how long arewe going to lead this life? We don’t want this life! We want to goback home, where we belong. That’s our dream,” Ginette Charles,a Chagossian woman told RT.Officially part of the British Indian Ocean Territory, theChagos islands are now occupied by more than three thousand USmilitary soldiers.  A US airbase for strategic nuclearbombers is located on the largest of the islands, DiegoGarcia.“It’s our land! It’s not for them” Charles told RT.The Chagossian community appealed to the government many timesto let them return home, but they were refused.  Thelatest setback the Chagossians faced was a ruling by the EuropeanCourt of Human Rights which held that the case was inadmissiblebecause the applicants had already been granted a legal process inBritain, the Telegraph reports.The government doesn’t even try to defend the islanders, saysMark Lattimer, Executive Director of Minority Rights GroupInternational on the group’s official website.“The UK government is happy to defend the rights toself-determination of the Falkland Islanders, but when the ChagosIslanders appeal for protection from their government they areabandoned,” he saysIn 2006 a group of around a hundred Chagossians were permittedto visit their homeland for the first time in over thirty years,BBC news reports. The people are still continuing their fight forthe right to have a home, a luxury the Chagossians can still onlydream of.

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‘Britons are manipulating the justice': Displaced Chagos Islanders’ bitter reality


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