Martin Docherty-Hughes, MP for West Dunbartonshire, has joined the family of Jagtar Singh Johal, a 31 year old Scot detained in India, to mark 100 days since his arrest.
Jagtar, a Scottish Sikh from Dumbarton, has been held in Punjab since 4 November 2017. The arrest came two weeks after Jagtar, also known as ‘Jaggi’, travelled to India from Scotland for his wedding.
This week marks 100 days that Jagtar has been held without charge. His family continue to campaign for his release, and have spoken of their heartache that Jagtar was forced to spend his birthday imprisoned in isolation away from his loved ones.
Concerns have been raised about reports of Jagtar being subject to abuse, mistreatment and physical torture during his time in custody.
International human rights organisation REDRESS has cited Jagtar’s case as evidence that the UK government must do more to protect British nationals detained abroad. REDRESS brought Jagtar’s case to the attention of the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture in December 2017.
SNP MP Martin Docherty-Hughes has been supporting Jagtar and his family, leading cross-party efforts to ensure his constituent’s rights under international law are protected.
Martin Docherty-Hughes MP said:
“It’s now 100 days that my constituent has been held by the Indian authorities and he has yet to be charged with any crime.
“Jagtar’s family in Dumbarton are deeply concerned for his welfare. He is their son, their brother and their friend – and they remain determined to secure justice for Jagtar and bring him home to Scotland.
“It’s critical that the family receives the full backing of the UK government. I will continue doing all I can to support the family and ensure Jagtar is treated fairly and afforded an open and transparent judicial process.”
Gurpreet Singh Johal, Jagtar’s brother, said:
“The past few months have been incredibly difficult. The longer Jagtar spends in custody without charge, the more concerned we are about its impact on his physical and mental wellbeing.
“It was Jagtar’s birthday on Friday and we are heartbroken that he was forced to spend it imprisoned and away from his loved ones. We are determined to bring Jaggi home so his next birthday is enjoyed here alongside his friends and family.”
Rupert Skilbeck, Director of REDRESS, said:
“The UK government has said that extreme action would be taken if a British citizen is being tortured. We remain seriously concerned about Jagtar’s treatment in detention, and it is crucial that the UK does everything in its power to ensure that his rights are protected and any torture is immediately stopped, that he is provided with any medical care needed, and that he receives proper due process.”