Lords Fail Chagos Islanders

I wrote briefly about the disturbing case of the Chagos Islanders in May 2007, having met them at the May Day March in London. They were turfed off their homeland in the late 1960s by the Wilson government so we could give the US the island of Diego Garcia to build a huge military base. (The picture of them is in the middle of this page if you don’t want to look at the rest of the pictures from May Day.)

Rt Click, View image to see larger

Earlier this year they were picketing the House of Lords where an appeal was being heard on their case. Our Labour government, having lost over the fundamental justice of their case, and lost an appeal in the High Court, had decided to take the matter to the final stage possible in this country, appealing to the House of Lords.

Today’s judgement, reported on the BBC web site, appears to be a matter of politics and pragmatism rather than justice.

It’s hard not to agree with John Pilger, quoted by the BBC, who described it as a political decision which upheld an “immoral and illegal” act. The case seems likely to go to the European Court of Human Rights, where perhaps justice will prevail over politics.

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