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.
The organisation Reprieve works to enforce the law for the human rights of prisoners, from death row to Guántanamo. The list of hidden prisons or prisoners. On Diego Gracia:
British Indian Ocean Territory Diego Garcia has been used for illegal rendition and detention of prisoners including Mohammed Saad Iqbal Madni and Mustafa Setmarian Naser.
Suspicions were first raised by an open letter on to Prime Minister Tony Blair on 28 December 2002, when Human Rights Watch suggested that U.S. forces were holding and interrogating al-Qaeda suspects on Diego Garcia, violating international law and the legal obligations of the British government.
In a subsequent series of questions and answers in Parliament from 2003 until 2008, the UK Government consistently denied the allegations. Further reading.