PM assertion regarding the jailed British blogger is ‘meaningless’ lacks information.

Rishi Sunak’s Intervention for Detained Briton Jagtar Singh Johal Deemed “Meaningless”

Campaigners have criticized Rishi Sunak’s recent efforts to raise the case of detained Briton Jagtar Singh Johal, calling them “meaningless” unless he directly calls on Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to release the Sikh blogger immediately.

Prime Minister’s Confirmation and Demands for Transparency

The British Prime Minister has confirmed that he discussed Mr. Johal’s case during his meeting with the Indian leader on the sidelines of the G20 summit in New Delhi. However, legal charity Reprieve is demanding transparency from the UK Government regarding Modi’s response to Sunak’s intervention concerning their client’s six-year detention.

Criticism from the UK Sikh Federation

The UK Sikh Federation has expressed dissatisfaction with Rishi Sunak and the Foreign Office’s approach, describing them as “scared and clueless” in applying diplomatic pressure concerning Mr. Johal’s treatment within the Indian judicial system.

Jagtar Singh Johal’s Detention and Allegations of Torture

Jagtar Singh Johal, originally from Dumbarton in Scotland, was arrested in Punjab, India, in 2017 during his wedding. His family alleges that he was bundled into an unmarked car and subjected to torture, including electric shocks. He now faces the death penalty for his activism and advocacy for Sikh human rights.

Legal Proceedings and Delays

Mr. Johal is facing terrorism charges, and his trial has experienced repeated delays due to disputes over evidence. The Prime Minister has stated that the Foreign Office is providing support to Mr. Johal’s family.

Parliamentary Involvement and Pressure

A cross-party group of at least 70 MPs wrote to Rishi Sunak ahead of his trip to India, urging him to use his meeting with Prime Minister Modi to press for Mr. Johal’s immediate release. This comes after reports that Foreign Secretary James Cleverly had previously advised against pressing India over the imprisonment.

Rishi Sunak’s Statements and Criticism

During his flight to India, Mr. Sunak expressed his desire to ensure “justice is done appropriately” for the imprisoned Briton. However, campaigners, including Maya Foa from Reprieve and Dabinderjit Singh of the Sikh Federation, have criticized the government’s past statements and actions, demanding concrete answers on the case’s progress and Modi’s response.

In summary, Rishi Sunak’s recent efforts to address Jagtar Singh Johal’s detention have faced criticism from campaigners who argue that more direct action is needed, including pressing for Mr. Johal’s immediate release. Concerns also persist regarding transparency and the effectiveness of diplomatic pressure on India’s judicial system.

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