Exiled Chagos Islanders living in Britain and Mauritius have said they are "dumbstruck" by a European court ruling that it has no jurisdiction to examine their forced expulsion by the British government in the 1960s.
Their comments followed a decision by the European court of rights in Strasbourg which declared that the islanders "effectively renounced" their claims 30 years ago when they received compensation for resettlement from the UK authorities.
The ruling dashed the Chagossians' hopes of returning and appeared to block all legal avenues through the ECHR by concluding that individual Chagossians had no right of individual petition to the court in future.
"These proceedings were settled in 1982 on payment of £4m by the United Kingdom and provision of land worth £1m by Mauritius," the decision by the seven judges declared.
"In so settling, the islanders agreed to give up their claims. In the later Chagos Islanders case, the [UK] high court found that an attempt to claim further compensation and make further claims arising out of the expulsion and exclusion from the islands was an abuse since the claims had been renounced by the islanders."
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