West Dunbartonshire’s MP Martin Docherty-Hughes has tabled a motion in the House of Commons calling for the UK government to secure the release from India of detained Dumbarton man Jagtar Singh Johal.
The local MP’s motion highlights the 6th anniversary of ‘Son of the Rock’ Jagtar’s arrest in Punjab, and urges the Westminster government to pause its trade deal negotiations with India until the arbitrary detention is ended.
Scottish Sikh Jagtar – known as Jaggi – was incarcerated after his wedding in 2017, accused of helping to fund a Sikh-on-Hindu assassination plot – something he and his family strongly deny.
An investigation by the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention determined that there was no legal basis for Jagtar’s detention in India, citing multiple violations of his human rights – including claims he was tortured into signing a false ‘confession’, through electric shocks to his ear lobes, nipples, and genitals.
The family’s local MP Martin Docherty-Hughes has been leading a cross-party campaign pressing Prime Minister Rishi Sunak to intervene in the case.
Three senior lawyers also spoke out about Jagtar’s plight this week, criticising the UK government’s handling of the case. In a letter jointly signed by Ken MacDonald KC, Elish Angiolini KC and Jim Wallace KC, the trio expressed concerns that British national Jagtar is being denied due process in India amid evidence of torture and arbitrary detention.
Commenting, Martin Docherty-Hughes MP said:
“The immovable position of the British government on the arbitrary detention of my constituent flies in the face of senior political and legal opinion. Their decision is clearly based on their frantic post-Brexit desire for a trade deal with India at the expense of a UK citizen’s rights.
“After six years with such flimsy evidence it’s now time for Jagtar to come home and for his government to demand it.”
The text of Martin’s motion tabled in the House of Commons is available here: https://edm.parliament.uk/early-day-motion/61475/sixth-year-of-detention-of-jagtar-singh-johal