Righting a wrong: how to restore decency to the British Indian Ocean Territory

I have a new article on openDemocracy, in which I take stock of the recently released feasibility study into the resettlement of the Chagos Islands (British Indian Ocean Territory) and the admission by a senior Bush administration official that Diego Garcia in the Chagos Islands was used by the CIA to hold detainees in the global war on terror.  My argument is that allowing the resettlement of the Chagos Islands is not only the moral thing to do, but also would be a “smart” move by those appalled by the way Diego Garcia has been used in recent years. Read the full article here.

Diego Garcia is the largest island of the Chagos Archipelago, a collection of tiny specks in the central Indian Ocean that together comprise the British Indian Ocean Territory (BIOT).  The history of this outpost of empire – the last ever colony, in fact, to be created by the British Empire – is a dark one, sullied by the mistreatment and dispossession of its indigenous population and, more recently, by suspicion that the territory played host to torture during the Bush-era war on terrorism.  Recent events give hope that a new page will be turned.  Yet a better future for BIOT is far from assured and critically depends upon hard choices being made by politicians at Westminster…