Islanders make new attempt to go home

December 7, 2005

Indian Ocean islanders forced from their homes by the British government to make way for the US airbase on Diego Garcia yesterday made a fresh attempt at the high court to win the right to go home.

Olivier Bancoult, one of the islanders’ leaders, said: “We are very optimistic.”

They won the right to return in 2000, but the government overturned this last year, invoking royal prerogative to deny them right of abode.

The case is expected to last a week. Victory for the islanders would be awkward for the government, which is under pressure from the US not to allow them back.

Guardian Unlimited | Special reports | Islanders make new attempt to go home