Human Rights Film Festival logo
Youth Jury
  • You are in:
  • Home
  • Themes
  • Military bases and forced eviction

Military bases and forced eviction

Chagos is a tiny archipelago in the Indian Ocean which, despite its geographic location, has “belonged” to the United Kingdom (as a British Overseas Territory) since 1965. In 1966, the UK “leased” it to the United States as a military base and the entire local population was forcefully evicted. Thus, some 1,800 people who had lived on the archipelago for generations were relocated on neighbouring islands.

The Chagos case is one of so many forceful displacements of population and expropriation by the US and other powers for the purposes of installing their military and strategic interests throughout the world. According to sources at the Pentagon, the United States has 716 bases outside its territory, not counting Iraq and Afghanistan. It is estimated that their numbers may even beat the 1,000 mark, although it is difficult to calculate the number of people who have been evicted for this reason.