London – 1 February 2018
Today Jagtar appeared in court for the 24th time, but still no evidence has been presented and no charges have been forthcoming.
The National Investigation Agency (NIA) that took over the case six weeks ago from Punjab police was reprimanded by the judge today for delays and failing to produce the correct paper work.
Martin Docherty-Hughes the MP for 30-year old Jagtar Singh Johal from Dumbarton and Jagtar’s elder brother also today met with Mark Field, the Foreign Minister responsible for relations with India.
Mark Field was told the UK Government was failing to protect Jagtar from ill-treatment and not doing enough to secure his release and return home.
Foreign Minister Rory Stewart gave assurances in the House of Commons on 21 November of ‘extreme action’ against the Indian authorities in relation to the torture of the 30-year old Brit.
However, three months following Jagtar’s abduction on 4 November, allegations of third degree torture, denial of an independent medical examination, lack of private access to consular staff and no charges the Foreign Office is being accused of deliberately wasting time and negligence.
Bhai Amrik Singh, the Chair of the Sikh Federation (UK) said:
“The Foreign Secretary has failed to issue a statement or meet Jagtar’s family and Sir Dominic Asquith, the British High Commissioner to India has also been silent.”
“Mark Field has been photographed winning and dinning with Indian government representatives and more concerned with trade and protests against the Indian PM, Narendra Modi when he visits Britain in April.”
Yesterday a report titled: ‘Beyond discretion – The protection of British Nationals abroad from torture and ill-treatment’ was released in Parliament by Redress, a human rights organisation dedicated to securing justice for torture victims.
More than 100 British citizens a year are subjected to ill-treatment in foreign jails, but many struggle to get the Foreign Office assistance they need.
The 75-page Redress report highlights the specific cases of Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe in Iran and Jagtar Singh Johal in India and accuses the UK Government of “a failure to speak out in the face of serious human rights violations” that “seriously weakens the protection of its own nationals and risks legitimising abuses.”
Bhai Amrik Singh continued:
“We are deeply concerned with the time taken by Foreign Office officials to act upon Jagtar’s allegations of third degree torture and their failure to gain private access since his abduction three months ago.”
“Consular officials appear to simply be relying on physical signs of torture and ignoring the relentless psychological torture Jagtar has been under.”
“Although the Indian authorities have been torturing and mistreating Jagtar the UK Government has become complicit without taking the ‘extreme action’ they promised MPs in Parliament to protect him.”
“The Foreign Office must immediately intervene or there is likely to be a mass protest later this month in London due to their negligence and also will increase the number of protesters when the Indian PM attends the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in April.”
National Press Secretary
Sikh Federation (UK)
Jaggi had his 24th preliminary hearing since his illegal arrest and detention on 4th November 2017.
Still no evidence presented.
Judge reprimands NIA for delay and failure to produce correct paper work.
Jaggi has been held without charge for 89 days.
Continued violation of due process to cause legal delay, by extending police/judicial remand.
There has been no openness or transparency in investigating the allegations of torture, which have been raised at the highest levels (Parliament, FCO, UN) by the #FreeJaggiNow campaign team.