End Unlawful Detention In the news

PM says Jagtar Singh Johal’s detention in India is ‘arbitrary’

The prime minister has described the detention of a Scottish man in India as arbitrary. Jagtar Singh Johal, a Sikh activist, has been locked up without trial since November 2017.

Mr Johal’s family have described it as a breakthrough moment. Boris Johnson’s letter describes Mr Johal, who is from Dumbarton, as a British national who has been “arbitrarily detained” in India for the past four and a half years.

The prime minister goes onto say that UK ministers and officials have raised concerns directly with the government of India about Mr Johal’s case on almost 100 occasions. Mr Johnson’s language is significant because detaining someone arbitrarily means there is no sound legal basis to hold them.

In May, a UN working group said Mr Johal’s detention was arbitrary and concluded he should be released immediately.

Mr Johal is supported by the legal and human rights charity Reprieve. Director Maya Foa said she was glad Boris Johnson had finally recognised that Mr Johal was arbitrarily detained.

She added: “The important thing isn’t how many times the Foreign Office has raised Jagtar’s case with the Indian government, but what they’re saying when they raise it, and the fact is their position has been too weak for too long.

“A strategy that leaves arbitrarily detained British nationals to rot in foreign jails is a strategy in urgent need of review.” Read the full story on BBC News.