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Scot detained in India for five years begs Liz Truss not to swap his freedom for trade deals in handwritten note

A Scotsman detained in India for the last five years has written a heartbreaking note to new Prime Minister Liz Truss, begging her not to trade his freedom for deals with the south Asian nation. Jagtar Singh Johal, 35, passed on the handwritten letter to his lawyer in court in Delhi this morning, after yet another pre-trial hearing was cancelled.

Jagtar, from Dumbarton, was in Punjab in northern India for his wedding in 2017, when his family say he was arrested and bundled into an unmarked car. The UK citizen says he has been detained and subjected to torture, including electric shocks, and faces the death penalty over his activism and campaigning for Sikh human rights.

Jagtar’s brother Gupreet Singh Johal: “It is a bittersweet feeling reading this note. My brother’s strength and determination come through loud and clear. We get so few opportunities to communicate with Jagtar and seeing his words, in his own writing, it’s almost like he’s in the room with us. But that just reminds me how badly we miss him and need him home with us in Dumbarton. As Prime Minister, Liz Truss is the only person who can end our nightmare, by demanding Jagtar’s release immediately.”

Reprieve’s Director Maya Foa: “As Martin Luther King wrote ‘justice too long delayed is justice denied’. Jagtar has already spent almost five years in pre-trial detention with the threat of a death sentence hanging over him. United Nations legal experts and former Prime Minister Boris Johnson have stated that there is no legal basis for Jagtar’s imprisonment. The only appropriate remedy is his immediate release – and that is only likely to happen if the UK Government demands it.”

Read the full story in The Daily Record