July 3, 2018 | By Sikh Siyasat Bureau
London: Over 70 British MPs have written a letter British PM Theresa May demanding urgent statement in Parliament from British Foreign Secretary in Jagtar Singh Johal alias Jaggi’s case.
The letter (copy available with Sikh Siyasat News) is written by MP Preet Kaur Gill, as Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group for British Sikhs, regarding the horrific allegations of torture inflicted upon British citizen Jagtar Singh Johal.
“Mr Jollal was seized by Indian security forces on 4 November 2018 whilst in India to get married. Seven months later, he remains in detention and has still not been provided with an independent medical examination despite repeated requests by his lawyers”, Preet Kaur Gill stated.
The letter endorsed by other British MPs notes: “[i]n December, human rights organisation Redress filed an urgent appeal to the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture on Jagtar’s case. As a result, on 29 January this year, the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture; the UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief, and the Vice-Chair of the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention wrote to the Government of India concerning the case. Unfortunately, the Government of India has failed to respond”.
“Mr Johal alleges he has been subjected to torture at the hands of the Indian security forces. In a recent handwritten account detailing his treatment that has just become available, Mr Johal alleges “The torture took place intermittently, numerous times each day. Electric shocks were administered by placing the crocodile clips on my ear lobes, nipples and private parts. Multiple shocks were given each day” and that “Threats of taking me to a remote location where I would be shot dead were also given. At one point, petrol was brought into the room and I was threatened with being burnt”. The allegations have been detailed in The Times and The Independent over the weekend”, said British MP.
APPGBS Chair added: “I have been working closely with Jagtar’s local MP, Martin Docherty-Hughes, on this issue, and we have been in communication with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office since Jagtar was first arrested. We have also written to the Chief Minister of Punjab, Captain Amarinder Singh, but to no avail”.
“In light of these shocking new allegations, I call on you to use all the diplomatic means at your disposal to ensure that the Government of India abides by the rule of law and ensures that Mr Johal is not subjected to torture. Furthermore, I ask you to call on the Government of India to respond to the joint appeal by the three UN special rapporteurs”, the letter reads further.
“I know that you will agree with me that it is intolerable that anyone, let alone a British citizen, is subjected to torture, and ask for your assurance that this matter is being dealt with at the very highest levels and as a matter of urgency. In light of the issues raised in this letter, I believe a statement to the House by the Foreign Secretary is urgently needed”, MP Preet Kaur Gill added.
The letter is signed by Lucy Allen MP, Dominic Grieve MP, Tom Brake MP, Pat McFadden MP, Tanmanjeet Dhesi MP, Eleanor Smith MP, Mike Gapes MP and Alison Thewliss MP. The letter is reportedly endorsed by 69 more British MPs.
Commenting on the development Bhai Amrik Singh, Chair of the Sikh Federation (UK) said: “We thank Preet Kaur Gill MP, Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group for British Sikhs and its eight Vice Chairs from the Conservatives, Labour, Liberal Democrats and Scottish National Party for raising the plight of Jagtar Singh Johal.”
“They have co-signed a letter from over 70 MPs to British Prime Minister raising serious concerns following Jagtar Singh Johal’s testimony of torture and the letter from three UN special rapporteurs to which India refuses to respond”, he added.
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Related Topics: Bhai Amrik Singh Gill, Jagtar Singh Johal alias Jaggi (UK), Jaspal Singh Manjhpur (Advocate), Preet Kaur Gill, Redress, Sikh Diaspora, Sikh Federation UK, Sikh News UK, Sikh Political Prisoners, Sikhs in United Kingdom, Tanmanjeet Singh Dhesi, Torture