70 British MPs sign letter calling on UK government to make a statement on Jagtar Johal
By Barfi Culture Team
3rd July 2018

Over 70 British MPs have signed a letter calling on the Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson to make an urgent statement on British citizen Jagtar Singh Johal.

Johal has been held in Indian jail since November 2017 and not been allowed an independent medical examination after making strong allegations of torture.

The letter, written by Labour MP Preet Gill, who is also chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group for British Sikhs, was signed by MPs from all major parties. It raises the allegations of torture and calls on the UK government to ensure the Indian government is abiding by the rule of law.

The letter was released to coincide with Johal attending his 45th pre-trial hearing today. Indian authorities have used the hearings to extend his detention without having to take him to trial.

The letter states: "Seven months later, he remains in detention and has still not been provided with an independent medical examination despite repeated requests by his lawyers."

It goes on to say:

"Mr Johal alleges he has been subjected to torture at the hands of the Indian security forces. In a recent handwritten account detailing his treatment that has just become available, Mr Johal alleges "The torture took place intermittently, numerous times each day. Electric shocks were administered by placing the crocodile clips on my ear lobes, nipples and private parts. Multiple shocks were given each day" and that "Threats of taking me to a remote location where I would be shot dead were also given. At one point, petrol was brought into the room and I was threatened with being burnt". The allegations have been detailed in The Times and The Independent over the weekend."

"I have been working closely with Jagtar's local MP, Martin Docherty-Hughes, on this issue, and we have been in communication with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office since Jagtar was first arrested. We have also written to the Chief Minister of Punjab, Captain Amarinder Singh, but to no avail."

"In light of these shocking new allegations, I call on you to use all the diplomatic means at your disposal to ensure that the Government of India abides by the rule of law and ensures that Mr Johal is not subjected to torture. Furthermore, I ask you to call on the Government of India to respond to the joint appeal by the three UN special rapporteurs."

His MP also called on Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson to make a statement.

Campaigners aim to keep pressuring the British and Indian governments to release Johal or, at least, offer him a fair and speedy trial.

The British Sikh from Dumbarton has now been held for 7 months in Indian jail without trial.

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