US Blocks British Court Hearing on Migrants in Diego Garcia

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Written By Vikas Jangid

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US Blocks British Court Hearing

The US government intervened to prevent a British court hearing from taking place on a British territory, sparking controversy over the fate of a group of migrants detained on the island of Diego Garcia.

Hearing on Migrants’ Detention Thwarted

The Supreme Court of the British Indian Ocean Territory (BIOT) was scheduled to hold a hearing this week to determine if migrants were being unlawfully detained on Diego Garcia.

However, the US government raised security concerns, ultimately causing the court to vacate the hearing. Lawyers representing the migrants and the BBC were denied access to the island, and the US refused to provide logistical support for the hearing until its concerns were addressed.

A Remote Island with a Complex History

Diego Garcia is part of the Chagos Archipelago, which the UK separated from Mauritius, a former colony, in 1965. The residents were evicted to establish a joint US-UK military base.

Source: Twitter/BBCWorld

The US currently maintains significant control over the island's resources and infrastructure. The territory is administered from London but is considered distinct from the UK. Mauritius claims ownership of the islands, and the UN has ruled the UK's administration of BIOT to be unlawful.

Security Concerns and Migrant Detention

The specific security concerns raised by the US regarding the planned court hearing are unclear. The hearing would have included a visit to the migrant camp, which may have been a point of contention.

Currently, around 60 migrants, including children, are detained in a fenced camp overseen by a private security firm.

Several migrants have attempted suicide, and the UN considers their living conditions to constitute arbitrary detention. The UK government maintains it is working to process asylum claims and secure resettlement for those eligible.

US Blocks British Court: Next Steps

A separate hearing is now underway in the UK to determine how to proceed.

The US intervention in a British legal proceeding on British territory raises questions about the future of the migrants and the ongoing dispute over the Chagos Archipelago.

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