Tomgram: David Vine, The Forgotten Costs of War in the Middle East
Perhaps a surprising title for Just Conservation but the tale of how Conservation has been enlisted to further perpetuate the exile of the Chagossians from their island homes continues to reverberate in both political and environmental circles
"Although the European Court of Human Rights ultimately ruled against the Chagossians in 2013, this March, a U.N. tribunal found that the British government had violated international law in creating the Marine Protected Area......Meanwhile, the European Parliament has passed a resolution calling for the Chagossians’ return, the African Union has condemned their deportation as unlawful, three Nobel laureates have spoken out on their behalf, and dozens of members of the British Parliament have joined a group supporting their struggle."
Jan 10, 2016
Chagos Islands marine park is compatible with law, high court rules
Judges uphold decision to create protected area, which prevents former residents resettling islands where US airbase was built
A government decision to create a controversial marine park in the Indian Ocean has been upheld by the high court. Former residents of the Chagos Islands who were forced into exile say the move, involving a ban on commercial fishing, was unlawfully aimed at preventing them resettling their former "paradise" homeland.
But Lord Justice Richards and Mr Justice Mitting, sitting in London, ruled that the marine protected area (MPA) was compatible with EU law.
Jun 11, 2013
Chagossians suffer blow in fight to go home as court rejects WikiLeak cable
US embassy cables allegedly detailing UK plan to stop return to Indian Ocean islands used by US military is ruled inadmissible
Classified American embassy cables obtained by WikiLeaks cannot be used as evidence in English and Welsh courts because they breach diplomatic privilege, judges have ruled.
The decision by Lord Justice Richards and Mr Justice Mitting in the high court will have far-reaching consequences and is a severe setback for the use of material obtained from leaks or whistleblowers.
Apr 19, 2013
Britain faces UN tribunal over Chagos Islands marine reserve
Ruling by permanent court of arbitration in The Hague may challenge UK's unilateral declaration of marine protected area
"Mauritius is not opposed to a marine protected area. On the contrary, we support conservation. We are very happy to work against illegal fishing," said Ramgoolam.Further doubts about the real intentions of the Foreign office were raised by a 2010 WikiLeaks cable in which Colin Roberts, the FCO's director of overseas territories, told the US state department that there would be no "Man Fridays" left on the islands following the establishment of the MPA and that establishing the park would, "in effect, put paid to resettlement claims of the archipelago's former residents".
Jan 29, 2013
Fortress Conservation versus Human Rights in the Indian Ocean
‘the Chagossian people have suffered, and continue to suffer, a huge violation of their human rights....'
According to confidential UK-US diplomatic correspondence disclosed by Wikileaks in December 2010, the ulterior motive for the establishment of a ‘no-take’ BIOT marine reserve by the UK Foreign Office – anticipating the outcome of the litigation – was ‘to prevent any of the Chagos Islands’ former inhabitants or their descendants from resettling in the BIOT (British Indian Ocean Territories)’.
Jun 13, 2012
Greenpeace should not choose green over peace
The organisation's support of a marine reserve in the Chagos islands displays a lack of regard for islanders wanting to return
"...Greenpeace seems to have mislaid the "peace" half of its mission. That has been evident for some time to anyone reading its current programme and priorities on its website. This grand drift was on show again at a conference organised by Amnesty International in Oxford last week, where Greenpeace International's executive director, Kumi Naidoo – a man with a proud record of anti-apartheid campaigning – was to talk about human rights and protection of the environment."
May 19, 2012
Green groups bitterly divided over future of Chagos islanders
Email correspondence seen by the Guardian reveals prominent groups vehemently oppose returning Chagossians home
Chagossian exiles denounced the move as an attempt to pre-empt their hopes of a return – a charge the British government denies.
Jun 02, 2011
African Union backs Mauritius against UK in dispute over Chagos.
16th Ordinary Session held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia from 30 to 31 January 2011.
"Decides to support fully the action of the Government of the Republic of Mauritius at the United Nations General Assembly with a view to enabling Mauritius to exercise its sovereignty over the Archipelago."
Feb 11, 2011