Chagos Media Coverage: The Archive

The story of Chagossians’ long, unjustifiable exile is criminally under-reported. There has though been a steady trickle over the years of articles, interviews and reports, a very incomplete sample of which you can find below.

The History

Let Us Return-Short Film- A 2015 short film by UK film maker Andy Marsh which tells the story of Chagossians’ exile in a concise and beautiful 15 minutes

 

John Pilger: Stealing a Nation: Highly respected journalist John Pilger’s seminal 2004 documentary on the history of the Chagossian deportation and their exile into poverty.

A Chance for Chagos: A film produced in late 2014 by journalist Emily Wakefield, this tells the story of Chagossians exile from the deportation until the present day.

Newspeeks: A youth focused documentary on the Chagossian fight for justice featuring a panel discussion and insightful interviews with Chagossians

National Public Radio: Two-Part Feature of Chagossian Return: US Broadcaster National Public Radio’s two-piece feature on Chagossians exile and fight to return (audio).

BBC: A Sordid Tale- A year 2000 article detailing how the Chagossians were deported as part of a US-UK deal to use their homeland as a military base, including the viciously racist language used to describe Chagossians as “Man Fridays” and “Tarzans.”

Counterpunch: The Story of the Chagos Islands and their people:  Perhaps the most exhaustive article on the history of the Chagossian people’s deportation, suffering in exile and fight for justice over the last 40+ years.

New African Magazine: Point of Return Beckons for Chagos Islanders- Another thorough article on the history of the Chagossian people

Huffington Post: The Truth About Diego Garcia- Anthropology Professor and Author David Vine gives a powerful overview of recent history of Chagos Islands

The Political Struggles

 

Our Patron Ben Fogle on why politicians need to back return for Chagossian exiles
 
Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn speaks to us about his experience supporting Chagossian struggle for justice in Parliament
Conservative MP for Crawley Henry Smith on why his Chagossian constituents deserve the opportunity to resettle their homeland

Guardian: Exiles Given Hope of Return: When the independent KPMG feasibility study into Chagossian return was published in early 2015, it confirmed return was possible and for modest costs.

 

Guardian: Exiled Chagossians could be allowed to return home under limited resettlement Later in 2015, the Government confirmed that they would open a consultation on Chagossian return to ther homeland with Chagossians themselves, looking at demand and costs. Potential sources of revenue including tourism were identified.

 

Guardian: Chagossians’ “betrayed”  by UK failure to decide on their return: A follow-up report as the Government just before the election confirmed they would not fulfill their pledge to make a decision on Chagossian return prior to the election, saying “more work” would be done.

 

Times Letter: “No Man Shall be Exiled” A letter sent from the All-Party Parliamentary Group on the Chagos Islands in 2015 on the 800th anniversary of the signing of Magna Carta, published in The Times.

 

Open Democracy: ‘Regret’ and ‘Delay’: When will the UK End the Exile of the Chagossian people?  Our current committee chair Stefan Donnelly on why the Government must act urgently to support Chagossian return and can offer no more excuses.

 

Huffington Post: A British Family That the Home Office Is Tearing Apart: A report on a Chagossian family threatened with deportation; an all too common event in the UK even today.

 

The Legal Struggles

 

Al-Jazeera: Interviews with Chagossians ahead of Supreme Court case including Oliver Bancoult and Allen Vincatassin

BBC-2000: Evicted Islanders Allowed Home: In 2000 Chagossians shocked the the world by winning a High Court case which judged that their exile was unlawful. Then Foreign Secretary Robin Cook stated he wouldn’t appeal the decision.

 

John Pilger (Journalist, Stealing a Nation)-2004: Royal Prerogative bans Chagossians from their homeland: Chagossians were not offered any support to return, however, and a few years later plans for resettling the islands were thrown into disarray as the UK Government used archaic powers of Royal Perogative to effectively nullify the High Court decision to support return.

 

BBC-2006: Successful  High Court Appeal against Government’s use of Royal Prerogative: In 2006, Chagossians returned to the High Court and the Government’s ban on their return was again found illegal.

 

BBC-2007: Chagos Families win another legal battle in Court of Appeal: A Government appeal to the previous decision in the Court of Appeal was defeated. Chagossians’ right to return was upheld, but the Government again indicated that it would appeal.

 

Guardian-2008: Chagos Islanders have no right to return: In the then highest court of the land, the Government won a narrow 3:2 majority in the House of Lords Appellate Committee that their decision to ban Chagossian from returning home was legal.

 

Guardian-2012: Chagos Islanders denied right to return home in European Court of Human Rights: In late 2012, the European Court of Human Rights condemned the behaviour of the UK Government but found that as the matter had been settled in the UK courts, it had no jurisdiction.

Guardian-2015: Chagossians ask Supreme Court to overturn House of Lords decision: Chagossians have challenged the House of Lords ruling that the Government acted legally in banning Chagossians from returning to their homeland in 2004.

Guardian-2016: Chagossians islanders denied right to return home: Chagossians denied the right to return by the UK Government despite support by the All Party Parliamentary Group and evidence provides by the KPMG feasibility study.

Chagossian Culture

Ifield Community College Chagossian Drumming Group: In Crawley Chagossian drumming culture has continued to thrive owing in large parts to the efforts of reknowned music teacher Patrick Allen of Ifield College.

 

The paintings of Clement Siatous: Clement Saitous is a Chagossian exile and self-taught artist. He painted not only life on the islands but Chagossians experience of exile. You can view more of Mr Siatous' work  on Chagos.info and read about a recent exhibition of his work in New York

Life on Diego Garcia: Sega dance from 1945 archive footage of life on the Chagos Islands kindly provided by John Loader, a WW2 veteran who spent time on Diego Garcia during the war. The full film can be found in four parts on Youtube.

Chagossians in song-1969: Recordings of traditional Chagossian songs recorded in the late sixties, as the depopulation of the Chagos Islands neared conclusion. You can hear this unique selection on chagos.info.