[Insert your MP’s name] MP
House of Commons
Dear [insert name] MP,
As one of your constituents, I would like to draw your attention to the human rights abuses which the Chagos Islanders have suffered since their enforced exile in the early seventies. I would also like to ask for your support in speaking up for their rights and joining the Chagos Islands All Party Parliamentary Group.
Between 1968 and 1973. the native population of the Chagos Islands, the British Indian Ocean Territory, was deported in order to allow the construction of a US military base on Diego Garcia. The 1,800 islanders were sent to Mauritius or the Seychelles where they remain today, many still living in poverty. From 2002 Chagossians were allowed to settle in the UK, and many have done so but they still want their right to return to their homeland. This appalling act was committed under Harold Wilson’s government but the abuse of the Chagossians’ rights has continued throughout successive Governments and has not yet been addressed by the Coalition Government.
I find it inexcusable that the British Government has, for more than 40 years, been implicit in this abuse of fundamental human rights. From their exile, to the sparing compensation they received for resettlement which was quickly dissipated, to the recent Marine Protected Area designation that would deny them their principal means of livelihood if they were to return, I urge you to add your voice to the call on this government finally to bring an end to their suffering.
One of the ways of showing your support is by joining the Chagos Islands All Party Parliamentary Group . The group provides a forum for you to raise awareness of the Chagossians’ plight and to further examine the barriers to their resettlement. The APPG Co-ordinator, David Snoxell, can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org. I hope I and the Chagossian community can count on your support.
[Your organisation (if applicable)]