Jagtar Singh Johal

Jagtar Singh Johal

Jagtar Singh Johal, “Jaggi”, is a British citizen who has been detained without charge in India since he was arrested in November 2017. Following his arrest Jagtar was held incommunicado and asserts he was subjected to torture.

JAGTAR’S STORY

Jagtar is a 31-year-old British citizen from Dumbarton, Scotland, who travelled to India to marry his fiancée in October 2017.

On 4 November 2017, while out shopping, Jagtar was seized by plain-clothes officers, hooded and abducted. Following a brief court hearing he was held incommunicado by Indian police for nine days in an undisclosed location. He remains detained without charge.

Jagtar states that between 5 to 9 November 2017, Indian Police tortured him by applying electric shock to his ears, nipples and genitals, forcing his limbs into opposite directions and forced sleep deprivation. In a secret hearing on 10 November 2017, witnesses reported that Jagtar had difficulty standing or walking and had to be assisted by police officers in and out of the courtroom.

The British High Commission was only able to meet Jagtar for the first time on 16 November 2017, nearly two weeks after his initial arrest. This meeting was supervised by Indian police. Requests for private consular meetings from Jagtar and the British High Commission have been repeatedly denied.

Jagtar has been brought before multiple court hearings since he was arrested, and has been taken in and out of judicial and police custody.

He remains detained without charge or any evidence brought against him, with no access to private consular assistance, limited access to his lawyer, and has not been granted an independent medical examination, repeatedly requested by his lawyers.

Under the Vienna Convention for Consular Relations (VCCR), to which India is a signatory, the United Kingdom is entitled to engage in matters concerning its nationals overseas. On 21 November 2017, the then-UK Minister of State Rory Stewart, told members of parliament that the UK government was taking Jagtar’s case seriously and would “take extreme action if a British citizen is being tortured.”

ACTION FOR JUSTICE 

On 18 December 2017, ENSAAF and REDRESS submitted an urgent appeal to the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture urging him to call on the Indian government to ensure that Jagtar is protected from torture and ill-treatment and that the allegations of torture are investigated.

We also asked him to urge India to provide Jagtar with an independent medical examination and any needed medical care as well as private visits with his lawyers and British consular staff.

QUICK FACTS

  • Case name: Jagtar Singh Johal
  • Jurisdiction:  United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture
  • Date filed: 18 December 2017
  • Current status: Submission filed
  • Legal representation: REDRESS

KEY WORDS

A United Nations Special Rapporteur is an independent expert appointed by the Human Rights Council to examine and report back on a country situation or on a specific human rights theme.

The Vienna Convention on Consular Relations (VCCR) is a treaty adopted in 1963 that defines a framework for consular relations between states. It sets out the right of a state to intervene in matters concerning its nationals overseas.

PHOTO CREDIT

Photo by the Free Jaggi Campaign.