The Chagos Islands - an archipelago in the Indian Ocean, halfway Africa and Indonesia. Colonised by French plantation operators, populated by slaves taken from other French island colonies in the Indian Ocean. In 1804 conquered by the British who abolished slavery. Plantations and workers however stayed.
And then the government of the United States of America decided that the archipelago was of high strategic value and wanted to have the natural harbour of the main island, Diego Garcia, as a navy base - condition was that there should be no human beings snooping around.
The islands were detached from the original main island colony, Mauritius, were not given independence and the British government decreed that the population of slave descendants was really an itinerant worker community.Plantations were nationalised and immediately closed down. The islanders were deported, the US navy and air force moved in (1973).
In the so-called war on terror the islands are used as a prison and torture camp under the incredible code name of Footprint of Freedom.
Although the indigenous people won their court cases against their deportation they are still being denied the right of return. Nowadays, the risk of climate change is the main story why the islands should not be populated. A continuing sad story.
Suspected Black Site
United States Navy
Diego Garcia is the largest and most southerly of the six main island groups that comprise the Chagos Archipelago in the Indian Ocean, 3,000 miles South of Iraq.
A Human Rights First report, Ending Secret Detentions, June 2004 [Deborah Pearlstein and Michael Posner. Available online at www.HumanRightsFirst.org] refers to detention facilities maintained by the US in various undisclosed locations including facilities in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Jordan, US war ships and Diego Garcia. The report states that denials by US and British Officials contradict repeated press reports that at least some individuals, including Hambali (Riduan Isamuddin) have been detained on Diego Garcia. Press reports referred to include several by Dana Priest, writing for The Washington Post. A December 2002 article [US Decries Abuse but Defends Interrogation. Available at www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn/A37943-2002Dec25] refers to the use of Diego Garcia as a secret overseas detention centre. Similar comments are made by Mark Seddon writing for The Independent in December 2003 [The Independent December 13th 3003: Is There Another Guantanamo Bay on British Soil?] and referring to a Time Magazine article from October 2003 [The terrorist talks].