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British spies charged with arresting Sikh blogger

British intelligence agencies are accused of informing Indian authorities that a British Sikh was currently being held in an Indian prison on charges of terrorism and conspiracy to murder. Jagtar Singh Johal, a 35-year-old British national from Dumbarton in Scotland, was arrested while in Punjab for his wedding in 2017 and his family in the UK claim he was tortured and abused.

Indian authorities have denied allegations of torture and maintained that he was arrested on serious charges to face trial in court. On Monday, the UK-based non-governmental organization (NGO) Reprieve said it supported a legal claim by Johal that MI5 and MI6 may have contributed to his detention and torture by sharing intelligence with the Indian authorities.

Our investigators have uncovered critical information that in 2017 the UK government allowed MI5 and MI6 to share information about British citizen, Jagtar Singh Johal, which led to his unlawful arrest and torture in India, reads an online petition launched by Reprieve to collect 10,000 signatures. No one should ever be tortured, especially not with the help of the British government. Our government should protect us, not subject us to torture and the death penalty, reads the petition from the legal action charity.

Johal’s legal team at UK law firm Leigh Day argues that he appears to be the individual described anonymously in a report by the UK’s Office of the Investigative Powers Commissioner (IPCO), which allegedly explains how MI5 and MI6 passed information about a British national to a foreigner. authorities who then detained and tortured them, based on striking similarities between this case study and Johal’s case. It is vitally important for our client and his family to understand whether or not and to what extent the UK authorities were involved in the sharing of intelligence which may have led to our client’s arrest, detention and to his torture. It would be totally unacceptable if the UK government’s actions had exposed any individual, let alone a UK citizen, to torture or the death penalty, said Leigh Day partner Waleed Sheikh.

In this case, Johal asks the British government to grant him compensation for the harm he suffered and to recognize that his actions were illegal. He also called for a public apology for the government’s role in his suffering. It was already a scandal that when a British national was abducted from the streets by the Indian authorities during his honeymoon, [outgoing Prime Minister] Boris Johnson let him rot for five years before finally admitting he was being arbitrarily detained, said Maya Foa, director of Reprieve.

It now appears that the British government was not only negligent, but unlawfully allowed his abduction and brutal torture by notifying the Indian authorities, she said. Johnson told reporters at the time that he raised Johal’s case with Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his visit to India in April this year. His predecessor Theresa May had also raised the matter with the Indian government before.

Johal’s High Court case is also being supported by human rights organization Redress, which has called for a full investigation. “Jagtar’s case shows how important it is that there is a full review of how the UK government responds when UK citizens are tortured overseas, including careful consideration of the role of the community in information in this case. If collusion is suspected, a thorough investigation must be carried out, as there can be no immunity from torture,” said Rupert Skilbeck, director of Redress.

The twist is that our government not only abandoned one of its own citizens, but actively betrayed them, says Jagtar Johal’s brother, Gurpreet Singh Johal. .”

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