The Chagos Betrayal

How Britain Robbed an Island and Made Its People Disappear
£16.99 Preorder Recommend

A shocking graphic novel account of poverty and discrimination suffered by the Chagos Islanders when their eviction by the British enforced US military control of their Indian Ocean home.

During the cold war, the US government sought to establish an overseas military presence in the Indian Ocean. This graphic novel is a shocking account of British complicity in the forced exodus of the Chagos Islanders from their homeland to make that plan possible.

Between 1965 and 1973 the inhabitants of the Chagos archipelago were forcibly removed from their homeland and dumped in Mauritius and Seychelles. Diego Garcia, the largest island in the group, was leased to the USA by the United Kingdom to accommodate the largest US military air base outside the US mainland. The agreement continues until 2036.

Florian Grosset’s searing account of the eviction, and the harsh life faced by the Chagossians after their displacement, looks back to the first generation of slaves who arrived on the archipelago and the lives of their descendants. It charts the present-day diaspora of Chagossians, their fight for the right to return through protests and court cases, and the different strategies still being used to keep them away from their land. Although, in 2016, the British government denied the right of the Chagossians to return to the islands, the islanders continue to fight for the right to return, many of them now to a homeland they never knew.  In February 2019, the International Court of Justice ruled that the UK decolonisation process of the Chagos islands was unlawful, and that the UK should end its control of the Indian Ocean archipelago, which includes a US military base.

Benjamin Zephaniah

9 March 2021

This is a very creative way of telling of a terrible and ongoing atrocity. It is impossible to explore this book and not feel the injustice, and then feel that justice must be done. A copy of this book should be given to every British citizen, young and old, so they can know the evil their governments have done. People of the USA too, this is about you. Together we should say, not in our names.

John Pilger

25 February 2021

Florian Grosset's book is an extraordinarily moving, almost haunting and powerfully factual depiction of the atrocity committed against the people of the Chagos Islands by the British Government. Her book is a rallying cry to all of us to stand with the islanders until they receive the justice they have fought and died for. Every school, every library should have this book. Please read what was done in your name.

Allen Vincatassin, President, Diego Garcia & Chagos Islands Council

23 February 2021

Unless people can see what happened to us, they will not be able to understand how much we suffered. By illustrating our life story, Grosset has made it become vivid and captivating to all.

Sabrina Jean, Chairperson, Chagos Refugees Group UK

23 February 2021

A very powerful book. Chagossians have been suffering for more than fifty years and until now we are fighting for our fundamental rights. It’s time for the UK government to return our islands. Everyone has the right to stay on their motherland, but not us Chagossians.

Woodrow Phoenix

17 February 2021

A disturbing, infuriating account of almost unbelievable cruelty and exploitation, showing how the lives of ordinary men and women were destroyed for their land which was far more valuable than them. Chagos Betrayal is all the more affecting for being delivered in a sober and careful way by Florian Grosset’s gentle pictures. Her measured recitation of the facts surrounding the dispossession of an entire people from their home is profoundly enraging.

Tom Frost, Leicester Law School

14 February 2021

This is a fantastic graphic novel which powerfully illustrates the injustices the Chagossians have experienced through art and quiet detail. The British State’s treatment of the Chagossians is nothing short of a national disgrace. This book should be required reading for every member of Parliament, as it highlights how the United Kingdom systematically lied and conspired to dispossess an entire people from their homeland.

Kate Evans, author of Threads

11 February 2021

Florian Grosset meticulously depicts a shameful chapter of British colonialism, and reveals the obscenity of the oxymoronic phrase ‘British Indian Ocean Territory’.

Henny Beaumont

4 February 2021

A powerfully moving story of the appalling treatment of the people of Chagos by the British and US government. Beautifully and sensitively drawn. I loved the way it moved between muted sepia tones, contrasting with the full colour spreads, painfully depicting and highlighting the significance of  the loss of this beautiful  land. It's an important story that needs telling.

Buying options