Appeal Continues: Olivier Bancoult, Chair of Chagos Refugees Group and Solange Hoareau, a Chagossian born on the islands exiled to the Seychelles have jointly brought a case challenging the Government’s decision not to resettle the BIOT and also the Government’s creation of a Support Package to assist former islanders and their descendants in their current locations. This was a breach of our human rights.
Our lawyers have argued in court that with the UK in effective control of the Chagos Islands, remain liable for human rights abuses committed there. The decision not to allow Chagossians to return to our homeland constitutes such an abuse.
It’s also been noted in court that Chagossians exiled to the Seychelles, like Solange Hoareau, have never received any compensation for their exile.
This case is litigated by Clifford Chance LLC, led by: Richard Gifford, Philipa Kaufmann QC, Paul Harris Senior Counsel, Professor Robert McCorquadale, Sam Brown & Amal Clooney.
On 25 February 2019, The International Court of Justice announced their advisory opinion on the legal consequences of separating the Chagos Archipelago from Mauritius in 1965, demanding that the United Kingdom unconditionally withdraw its colonial administration from the area within six months. The UK has been ordered to hand back the Chagos Islands to Mauritius “as rapidly as possible” after the United Nations’ highest court ruled that continued British occupation of the remote Indian Ocean archipelago is illegal.
A Chagossian delegation attended the meetings along with Mauritian delegation and team from SPEAK Human Rights.
In 2017 a delegation of Chagossians attended a United Nations General Assembly in New York along with the Mauritian delegation and team from SPEAK Human Rights. On this momentous day the General Assembly Adopted a Resolution seeking the International Court’s Advisory Opinion on Pre-independence Separation of Chagos Archipelago from Mauritius. By a recorded vote of 94 in favour to 15 against, with 65 abstentions, the Assembly adopted the text contained in document A/71/L.73, recalling its 1965 resolution in which it asked the United Kingdom not to dismember the territory of Mauritius ahead of its independence in 1968.
This victory led to our fight in The International Court of Justice (ICJ), The Hague, Netherlands.