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Sturgeon urges Raab to assist Scottish Sikh man allegedly tortured in India

Nicola Sturgeon has written to the embattled foreign secretary, Dominic Raab, urging him to intervene in the case of a Scottish Sikh man who has been imprisoned in India for nearly four years awaiting trial, and is facing the death penalty after a confession allegedly extracted under torture.

In Sturgeon’s first formal intervention on the case, seen exclusively by the Guardian, the first minister expresses the Scottish government’s “deep concerns” about Jagtar Singh Johal’s detention without trial – as well as his allegations of torture and mistreatment by Indian authorities while in custody.

The letter adds further pressure on the UK government after nearly 140 parliamentarians, including the former Brexit secretary David Davis, the former international development secretary Hilary Benn and the SNP leader at Westminster, Ian Blackford, wrote to Raab in February asking him to seek Jagtar’s release.

Jagtar is being supported by the legal NGO Reprieve, whose deputy director Harriet McCulloch described his situation as “as clear a case of arbitrary detention as we’ve come across”. Read the full story in The Guardian.