Diego Garcia island, Bush’s torture centre

This video from the USA says about itself:

9 October 2009

Forcibly Exiled Nearly 40 Years Ago, Diego Garcia Natives Fight to Return to Island Home Now Used as Key US Military Outpost

We turn now to another island that is a key military outpost for the United States. Located in the Indian Ocean, Diego Garcia has often been used for strikes on Iraq and Afghanistan and played a critical role in the US extraordinary rendition program. Unlike Guam, Diego Garcia has no inhabitants resisting the US military. All of the islands residents were forcibly removed in the early 1970s.

For the last four decades, former residents of Diego Garcia and their descendants have been fighting for the right to return. We speak with Olivier Bancoult, a leader of the exiled people of Diego Garcia and president of the Chagos Refugees Group; and David Vine, author of the book Island of Shame: The Secret History of the US Military Base on Diego Garcia.

From the YouTube text of a video which is no longer there in December 2009:

This is the first part of two videos outlining the ethnic cleansing of the Chagos Islands from the late 1960’s.

The native islanders of the Chagos archipelago were forcibly removed from the islands by the British Government at that time to make way for an American military airbase during the Cold War.

They were forgotten about and left to wither in poverty in the slums of Mauritius.

They have been fighting to be allowed to return home ever since, and despite the British courts ruling in favour of this the Government has managed to block that decision, and the Chagossians remain in their enforced purgatory to this day.

Most of the information in these videos is taken directly (with permission) from:


You can find out a detailed account of their story at the above site, and you can also help the Islanders return home by signing the petition on the homepage.

Other references and articles on the story are as listed below:


You can also find John Pilger’s award – winning documentary on the story (well worth watching – and the most in-depth profile about this issue that I have found to date) on the link here.

From British daily News Line:

Monday, 11 June 2007


NO WONDER both the British and US governments are absolutely determined that none of the Chagos Islanders be allowed to return to their homes in Diego Garcia.

One of the main reasons for this became absolutely clear at the end of last week when the Council of Europe Inquiry into ‘extraordinary renditions’ found that Diego Garcia was not just a US naval and air base for bombing Asia, but was also a CIA torture centre.

It is a place to which victims of the CIA ‘extraordinary rendition’ abduction programme are brought for ‘processing’.

These ‘high value’ terrorist suspects are tortured there at the leisure of the CIA, at a place which is thousands of miles away from the nearest supporter of democratic rights.

The CIA thought that they would never be disturbed at their top secret and ultra secure base.

Update February 2008: here.

12 thoughts on “Diego Garcia island, Bush’s torture centre

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