West Dunbartonshire’s MP Martin Docherty-Hughes has secured a meeting with UK Foreign Secretary Liz Truss on behalf of Dumbarton man Jagtar Singh Johal who has been held in arbitrary detention in India since November 2017.
It follows the return home to the UK of British-Iranian national Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, who had been detained in Iran for 6 years.
Local MP Martin – who is Vice-Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Deaths Abroad, Consular Services and Assistance – met previously with Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe’s husband Richard Ratcliffe. He said seeing Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe reunited with her family gave real hope to his constituent Jagtar and other families with loved ones unjustly imprisoned abroad.
Speaking in the House of Commons on Wednesday, MP Docherty-Hughes gave credit to the Foreign Secretary for securing the release of Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe. He also paid tribute to Nazinin’s family and their local MP saying:
“We congratulate the honourable Members for Hampstead and Kilburn (Tulip Siddiq) and for Lewisham East (Janet Daby) on a job well done as parliamentary representatives; it is a great honour to sit in any Parliament and that is the job of an MP. We also congratulate the families, who are watching.”
Martin Docherty-Hughes MP then challenged Liz Truss to step-up support for the families of other UK nationals arbitrarily detained abroad, pressing the Foreign Secretary to meet with him and the family of Dumbarton man Jagtar Singh Johal. He said:
“I was interested to hear the Foreign Secretary talk about arbitrary detention and how we can work with other countries to ensure that not only dual nationals or tri nationals, but full UK nationals are not arbitrarily detained, no matter our friendships with countries. Will the Foreign Secretary consider meeting me and the family of Jagtar Singh Johal to understand the issue of arbitrary detention for other states? It would be a most welcome deliberation for the future.”
In response, Foreign Secretary Liz Truss agreed to a meeting, saying:
“As I’ve said previously, I have raised the specific case of Jagtar Singh Johal, but I would be happy to meet the honourable Gentleman to discuss it further.”
Martin’s full question in parliament to the Foreign Secretary can be viewed here: