Paradise Lost | DocFilm | DW | 25.06.2022

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Paradise Lost

Fifty years ago, the entire population of the Chagos Islands was expelled by British authorities. Now, exiled Chagossians want their homeland back.

After the break-up of the Mauritian archipelago shortly before the independence of Mauritius, Britain leased the largest island to the United States in 1966. The US subsequently built a naval base there. This caused about 1,500 people to be forcibly resettled between 1967 and 1973. The lease agreement has been extended until 2036. But as early as 2019, the International Court of Justice condemned Britain’s actions as a violation of a people’s right to self-determination. Now, the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea has ruled that the Chagos Islands be returned to Mauritius. But so far, Britain has refused to give in. Nevertheless, Chagossians living in exile are fighting to return to their homeland. Sabrina Jean is a dynamic activist leading the fight on behalf of those affected, and striving to keep alive the hope that they may finally be able to return home.