United Kingdom Accused of Crimes Against Humanity Over Chagos Island

The United Kingdom has been accused of crimes against humanity for refusing to let a group of islanders return to the Chagos Archipelago, half a century after British troops drove them off the island. Human Rights Watch (HRW) has suggested that generations of people should be compensated for the choice to depopulate the remote islands in the Indian Ocean.

United Kingdom Accused of Crimes Against Humanity Over Chagos Islands (News Central TV)

The Foreign Office of the United Kingdom has replied by expressing great regret for the manner in which people were removed from the islands in the late 1960s and early 1970s. It did, however, state emphatically that they unequivocally reject the categorization of events as crimes against humanity.

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The HRW research comes as the United Kingdom faces growing international condemnation for maintaining what it calls the “British Indian Ocean Territory,” with the UN’s International Court of Justice declaring that the archipelago’s continued British occupation is unconstitutional.

The UN General Assembly has also decisively voted in favour of returning the Chagos islands to Mauritius.

“The UK is today committing an appalling colonial crime, treating all Chagossians as a people without rights. The UK and the US, who together expelled the Chagossians from their homes, should provide full reparations for the harm they have caused,” said HRW’s senior legal adviser, Clive Baldwin.

When Mauritius gained independence in 1968, the UK insisted on retaining control of the Chagos Islands. Mauritian officials have since accused the United Kingdom of “blackmailing” them into giving up the territory.

United Kingdom Accused of Crimes Against Humanity Over Chagos Islands (News Central TV)

According to the BBC, the UK had reportedly agreed to lease one of the Chagos islands, Diego Garcia, to the US for use as a military post.

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Today, the Foreign Office claimed that the facility helps to keep people safe in the UK, the area, and throughout the world by combating some of the most challenging dangers to international peace and security. However, with all but a few states now supporting Mauritius’ claim, the UK has engaged into negotiations regarding the ownership of the Chagos archipelago.

Mauritius’ UN ambassador, Jagdish Koonjul, praised the negotiations as “productive.” “, and his administration applauded the HRW report.

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