Action to take on 10 October
While in India for his wedding in November 2017, Jagtar Singh Johal, a British Sikh (pictured), was arrested and accused of involvement in terrorism and in the assassination of a number of Hindu leaders in the Punjab. He is alleged to have faced torture and been forced to sign blank statements and record a video. This ‘confession’ was broadcast on national television, where the political nature of his ‘crimes’ was stressed. He has had no actual trial but faces the death penalty.
Mr Johal’s brother, Gurpreet, who lives in Scotland, says his brother was a peaceful activist and believes he was arrested because he had written about historical human rights violations against Sikhs in India. He has appealed to the British Government to seek his brother’s release and to bring him home.
In February of this year, almost 140 MPs wrote to the then Foreign Secretary, Dominic Raab, asking him to
seek Mr Johal’s release, and a debate was held in Parliament with calls for him to be declared a ‘victim of arbitrary detention. In June, Nicola Sturgeon, First Minister of Scotland, wrote to Mr Raab, urging him to seek Mr Johal’s release. Gurpreet Singh Johal is grateful for her support, but believes direct intervention from the British Government is essential.
Mr Johal is supported by the organisations Reprieve and Redress. He has made numerous court appearances, but his trial has been repeatedly delayed at the request of the prosecution and basic information denied to his defence counsel.
Mr Raab said he was doing all he could and had been in touch with the Indian authorities, but his response was criticised as ‘weak’. With the appointment of the new Foreign Secretary – Liz Truss – there is an opportunity to bring Mr Johal’s situation to her attention, and to call for a more positive and pro-active response.
Please write to:
Ms Elizabeth Truss
Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs of the
Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office
King Charles Street
London SW1A 0AA Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
and ask her to intervene in Mr Johal’s case, and to secure his release and return home.
Please date your letter 10th October 2021, calling attention to the fact that it is the 19th World Day against the Death Penalty.
Leave a Reply