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UK: Exiled Chagos Islanders vow to fight on after losing appeal02:21

UK: Exiled Chagos Islanders vow to fight on after losing appeal

United Kingdom, London
June 29, 2016 at 14:10 GMT +00:00 · Published

Representatives of the Chagossian Islanders gathered outside the Supreme Court in London, Wednesday, following the loss of a legal challenge to have their return from exile sped up.

In a majority ruling, of three to two, the justices at the UK's highest court dismissed the appeal, which was launched following the release of a Foreign Office report which concluded that there was a possibility of resettling the islanders back to their native lands. The report, which was found in 2012, was not presented in the original hearing prompting today's appeal.

Lawyer representing Chagossians, Richard Gifford, said the challenge became possible when the "lost" file showed that the original ruling had been "directed to the wrong conclusion, relied on unscientific method and wrongly exaggerated both the risks and the costs of sea defences." Despite the rejecting the by the court to reopen the case, Gifford noted that the justices "held unanimously that the failure to produce it before the House of Lords was unjust and/or reprehensible."

The islanders, who were also represented by Amal Clooney, were forcibly removed from their homes in 1971 by the then British government. About 1,500 people were deported to Britain to make way for the US base on Diego Garcia, the largest of the Chagos islands.

UK: Exiled Chagos Islanders vow to fight on after losing appeal02:21
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Description

Representatives of the Chagossian Islanders gathered outside the Supreme Court in London, Wednesday, following the loss of a legal challenge to have their return from exile sped up.

In a majority ruling, of three to two, the justices at the UK's highest court dismissed the appeal, which was launched following the release of a Foreign Office report which concluded that there was a possibility of resettling the islanders back to their native lands. The report, which was found in 2012, was not presented in the original hearing prompting today's appeal.

Lawyer representing Chagossians, Richard Gifford, said the challenge became possible when the "lost" file showed that the original ruling had been "directed to the wrong conclusion, relied on unscientific method and wrongly exaggerated both the risks and the costs of sea defences." Despite the rejecting the by the court to reopen the case, Gifford noted that the justices "held unanimously that the failure to produce it before the House of Lords was unjust and/or reprehensible."

The islanders, who were also represented by Amal Clooney, were forcibly removed from their homes in 1971 by the then British government. About 1,500 people were deported to Britain to make way for the US base on Diego Garcia, the largest of the Chagos islands.

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