The British Government has refuted claims that Sri Lankan migrants are routinely detained on the British Indian Ocean Territory (BIOT), strongly contesting any allegations of false imprisonment. In a recent parliamentary committee session on human rights, David Rutley from the Foreign, Commonwealth, and Development Office asserted that allegations of false imprisonment of Sri Lankan nationals in Diego Garcia, part of BIOT, are unfounded.
Given that these allegations are currently undergoing legal proceedings, Rutley emphasized that it would be inappropriate to comment until these legal processes conclude. He noted that approximately 130 migrants of Sri Lankan nationality voluntarily returned to their home country on six separate flights chartered by the BIOT Administration, expressing gratitude to the Sri Lankan Government for their assistance in facilitating these returns.
During the committee meeting, it was highlighted that the welfare and safety of the remaining migrants on Diego Garcia are deemed top priorities for the BIOT Administration. These individuals reportedly receive accommodation, food, communications, dedicated 24/7 medical support, and access to educational and welfare facilities.
A group of Tamil asylum seekers led by Diego Garcia recently won a legal battle to prevent their forced return to Sri Lanka. These asylum seekers, who have been on Diego Garcia since October 3, 2021, claimed persecution in Sri Lanka and were rescued and brought to Diego Garcia when their fishing boat encountered difficulties.