Our Patrons Fogle, Gregory & Zephaniah back Chagossians' call for return
Following Monday's Guardian article by Chagossian activist Mylene Augustin, our Patrons author Philippa Gregory, adventurer Ben Fogle and poet Benjamin Zephaniah have joined forces to back Chagossians' call for right to return to Chagos and an end to their suffering in exile. Below is their joint letter demanding the UK Government and all of us act now to end half a century of cruel injustice.
An Open Letter from Philippa Gregory, Ben Fogle and Benjamin Zephaniah
"Monday's Guardian article from Chagossian Mylene Augustin was a powerful depiction of the tragic consequences of the UK's Governments deportation of its own citizens from Chagos in the late 1960s.
As Patron of UK Chagos Support Association, I know how courageously Mylene and others have worked to build their life far from their homeland. It is vital we all understand that we have a unique opportunity, and responsibility, to stand with Chagossians and demand an end to that exile.
The UK-US agreement which forced Chagossians from their land expires this year. It will likely be renewd but no matter what happens in the future the US have made clear that the Chagos Islands are British territory and the British government must decide who is admitted, and if the Chagossians can return from their long exile.
Ministers of our Government will make their decision in the coming weeks. This is now simply a political decision. We must all tell our political representatives that we will not accept the continued exile of our fellow citizens who demand the right to return."
We thank our Patrons for their continued, untiring support and commitment to the Chagossian people.
You can support the campaign by writing to your MP and asking they represent your view that the Chagossian people must be allowed to return home. Alternatively share this letter on social media or donate to support the campaign and our work in the Chagossian community.