06 April 2012

Petition to White House on Chagos Islands

Petition campaign on behalf of Chagos Islanders


Elena Landriscina


Human rights group wants Obama administration to remedy the harms that Chagosians have been suffering.

The Chagos Islanders are an indigenous population that lived peacefully for generations in the Chagos Archipelago (located in the Indian Ocean). They were forcibly expelled from their homelands in the 1960s and 1970s so that the United States could build a military base on Diego Garcia. 

Both the United Kingdom, which controls the island, and the United States, which operates the military base, have refused to allow the Chagossians to return or to offer any just form of redress for the harm they have caused. The small community of Chagossians that are still alive reside in nearby islands of Mauritius and the Seychelles -- mostly in poverty and at the fringes of society.

As a law student, I am part of a group of human rights advocates that have launched a White House petition, asking the Obama administration to remedy the harms that the Chagossians have been suffering.