SNP MP Martin Docherty-Hughes has questioned the Prime Minister over concerns that the UK government isn’t doing enough to help the family of a Dumbarton man imprisoned abroad.
Speaking during Prime Minister’s Questions, the MP for West Dunbartonshire pressed Theresa May on behalf of the family of Jagtar Singh Johal – a 32 year old Scot who has been held in India since November 2017 after travelling for his wedding.
It is alleged that whilst in detention Jagtar Singh Johal was tortured by electric shock to his ears, nipples and genitals, forcing his limbs into opposite directions and forced sleep deprivation. But the Indian authorities have so far refused to allow for an independent medical examination despite concerns being raised by the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture.
UK government Ministers had assured Martin Docherty-Hughes MP that “extreme action” would be taken in the event of a British national being tortured. However, Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt has refused to meet with the family or their constituency MP Martin Docherty-Hughes.
Next week (Monday) will mark 500 days since Jagtar was first arrested in Punjab. The family and supporters of Jagtar Singh Johal have vowed to continue fighting to prove his innocence and bring him home to Scotland.
Martin Docherty-Hughes MP said:
“As we approach 500 days since Jagtar’s arrest my heart goes out to his family here in Scotland who continue to work tirelessly on his behalf.
“Regardless of the accusations against him, my constituent’s human rights must be protected and that includes his right to a fair trial. However, there has yet to be any evidence brought forward despite more than 75 pre-trial hearings and delays. It cannot be right that the Indian authorities are able to hold Jagtar indefinitely.
“The UK government’s lack of support in this case is baffling. This is a Scot – a British citizen – allegedly tortured and being denied due process yet successive UK Foreign Secretaries seem content to turn a blind eye.
“Just last week Jeremy Hunt was in Scotland and when questioned about Jagtar’s case the Foreign Secretary again refused point blank to even meet with the family.
“It shouldn’t be this difficult for a family from Dumbarton to secure the support of the UK government – especially given the seriousness of this case.
“I am determined to do all I can to press for justice and due process on their behalf – it’s about time Jeremy Hunt did the same.”