Categories: News

MP for West Dunbartonshire Martin Docherty-Hughes is calling on Prime Minister Rishi Sunak to ‘act urgently’ to help Dumbarton man Jagtar Singh Johal who is imprisoned in India facing the death penalty.

The SNP MP will lead a Backbench Business debate on Thursday (19 January) in the House of Commons urging the UK government to press the Indian authorities for Mr Johal’s immediate release, arguing that the legal case around his constituent’s arbitrary detention is now beyond doubt. 

Mr Johal was detained under India’s anti-terrorism laws following his arrest in November 2017, accused of helping fund a Sikh-on-Hindu assassination plot – something he strongly denies.

The UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention has determined that Mr Johal’s detention “lacks legal basis”, was based on “discriminatory grounds” owing to his Sikh faith and his “status as a human rights defender”, and that he was “subjected to torture”.

International human rights groups ‘Reprieve’ and ‘Redress’ have called on the UK government to intervene urgently in the case, citing concerns that Jagtar faces trumped-up political charges carrying the death penalty.

Despite Boris Johnson previously acknowledging Jagtar’s arbitrary detention, and Liz Truss meeting with the family last year, Rishi Sunak has yet to reach out since becoming Prime Minister.

Commenting, Martin Docherty-Hughes MP said:

“My constituent Jagtar’s case is turning into one of the most prominent miscarriages of justice of our time.

“After 5 years of incarceration in India without trial, believed tortured, this young Scot from Dumbarton is at risk of facing the death penalty.

“The UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention has made clear that Jagtar’s detention ‘lacks legal basis’ and that he has been ‘subjected to torture’.

“This cannot continue. The UK government needs to catch up with the legal consensus and urgently change its strategy.

“We witnessed first-hand, through the case of Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe and Anoosheh Ashoori, that the UK government can bring their people home. We must see a similar approach with Mr Johal.
“Jagtar Singh Johal and his family have suffered for too long – it is time to bring him home.”

Share this post:
Website issued by Martin Docherty-Hughes MP, Member of Parliament for West Dunbartonshire (SNP)

This website is funded by the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA) for the purpose of assisting Martin Docherty-Hughes MP in the performance of their Parliamentary duties. 
Formal feedback about website content should be sent to
The UK Parliament has no responsibility for the content of externally-linked sites

Titan Enterprise Centre, Suite 1-11, 1 Aurora Avenue, 1 Queens Quay, Clydebank G81 1BF

Contact form

0141 952 2988 Local office

Privacy / Cookies & IPs

Site build:

Newsletter sign-up

Leave this field blank