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Jagtar Singh Johal

Question for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office

UIN 147005, tabled on 1 February 2021

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment he has made of whether Jagtar Singh Johal has been subjected to torture during his detention in India.

Answered on

9 February 2021

This answer is a correction from the original answer.

The UK Government takes all allegations of human rights violations very seriously and raises concerns with the local authorities where appropriate. We regularly raise Mr Johal's case directly with the Government of India, including his allegations of torture, right to a fair trial, and concerns about delays to legal proceedings against him. The Foreign Secretary raised Mr Johal's case with the Indian Minister of External Affairs, Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, on 15 December 2020. Lord (Tariq) Ahmad of Wimbledon, the Minister of State for South Asia and the Commonwealth, last raised Mr Johal's case with the Indian High Commissioner on 28 January 2021, and with the Indian Foreign Secretary, Harsh Vardhan Shringla, on 3 November 2020. Lord Ahmad has also met with Mr Johal's family on a number of occasions, most recently on 27 January 2021.

Original answer

We are aware that some restrictions on internet connectivity have been imposed at protest sites and call for these to be lifted as soon as possible. The right to gather lawfully and demonstrate a point of view is common to all democracies. Governments also have the power to enforce law and order if a protest crosses the line into illegality. During his visit to India, the Foreign Secretary discussed the protests with his Indian counterpart, whilst making clear that the handling of protests is an internal matter for the Indian authorities.