U.S. and U.K. should pay reparations for 'crimes against humanity' in Chagos Islands, says Human Rights Watch report

planes on Air base in Diego Garcia.
(Image credit: Pictures From History/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

Human Rights Watch has called on the U.S. and U.K. to pay reparations for "the forced displacement" and "ongoing abuses" of the people of the Chagos Islands, all of which amount to "crimes against humanity," HRW has claimed in a new report.

Approximately 50 years ago, the U.S. and Britain forced a mass deportation of the Indigenous Chagossian people in order to establish a U.S. naval base in Diego Garcia, the largest of the inhabited islands. The Chagossian people have since been fighting to return, but have been refused as recently as 2016, with the British government citing "feasibility, defense and security interests, and cost to the British taxpayer" as reasons for its denial. The islands are part of the British Indian Ocean Territory, which still operates under colonial rule after separating from Mauritius, reports The Associated Press.

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