World

Evicted Chagos islanders ask top UK court to overturn ruling barring them from returning home

  • Louis Olivier Bancoult, leader of the Chagos Refugee Group, arrives at the Supreme Court in London, Monday June 22, 2015, as former residents of the Chagos Islands, in the Indian Ocean, are challenging a decision made six years ago by the House of Lords which dashed their hopes of returning home to their native islands. Families were forced to leave the islands in the 1960's and 1970's to make way for a United States Air Force base on the largest island, Diego Garcia. (Jonathan Brady/PA via AP)  UNITED KINGDOM OUT  NO SALES  NO ARCHIVE

    Louis Olivier Bancoult, leader of the Chagos Refugee Group, arrives at the Supreme Court in London, Monday June 22, 2015, as former residents of the Chagos Islands, in the Indian Ocean, are challenging a decision made six years ago by the House of Lords which dashed their hopes of returning home to their native islands. Families were forced to leave the islands in the 1960's and 1970's to make way for a United States Air Force base on the largest island, Diego Garcia. (Jonathan Brady/PA via AP) UNITED KINGDOM OUT NO SALES NO ARCHIVE  (The Associated Press)

  • Louis Olivier Bancoult, leader of the Chagos Refugee Group, arrives at the Supreme Court in London, Monday June 22, 2015, as former residents of the Chagos Islands, in the Indian Ocean, are challenging a decision made six years ago by the House of Lords which dashed their hopes of returning home to their native islands. Families were forced to leave the islands in the 1960's and 1970's to make way for a United States Air Force base on the largest island, Diego Garcia. (Jonathan Brady/PA via AP)  UNITED KINGDOM OUT  NO SALES  NO ARCHIVE

    Louis Olivier Bancoult, leader of the Chagos Refugee Group, arrives at the Supreme Court in London, Monday June 22, 2015, as former residents of the Chagos Islands, in the Indian Ocean, are challenging a decision made six years ago by the House of Lords which dashed their hopes of returning home to their native islands. Families were forced to leave the islands in the 1960's and 1970's to make way for a United States Air Force base on the largest island, Diego Garcia. (Jonathan Brady/PA via AP) UNITED KINGDOM OUT NO SALES NO ARCHIVE  (The Associated Press)

Indian Ocean islanders who were forced into exile to make way for a key U.S. military base are appealing to Britain's top court in their long-running campaign to return home.

Britain evicted thousands of people from the tropical Chagos archipelago, a British colony, in the 1960s and 1970s so that the U.S. military could build an air base on Diego Garcia, the largest of the islands.

A decade ago Britain's High Court and Court of Appeal ruled they and their descendants could return, but those decisions were overturned in 2008 by the Law Lords, then Britain's highest court.

The Law Lords was replaced by the Supreme Court in 2009. The islanders argued at Monday's hearing that the earlier judgment should be overturned because the government of the time withheld information.