Jagtar Singh Johal is a UK-based Sikh human rights activist. He is currently in Tihar Jail in New Delhi, where he has been detained since November 2017. According to the Indian government, Johal has been involved in a plot to kill right-wing religious figures. The charges against him carry the maximum penalty of death.
During his time in India, Johal has made numerous allegations of torture and arbitrary arrest. This has been confirmed by the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention. In its report, the Working Group found that Mr Johal’s arrest and detention were “arbitrary” and that his detention lacked any legal basis.
Human rights activists have warned that the life of Mr Johal is in danger. The family claims that the authorities tortured him in prison. They allege that he was forced to sign a false confession, and that he has been subjected to sleep deprivation, electrocution, and beatings.
A number of UK Prime Ministers and officials have raised concerns over the detention of Mr Johal. They include former foreign secretary Liz Truss, current prime minister Boris Johnson, and now-future prime minister Dominic Raab.
Despite his claims of torture, the Punjab police have denied them. It has been pointed out that anyone who had suffered such abuse would have died, and the police have said they “categorically deny that.” Several local newspapers have linked the arrest of Johal to the killing of several prominent Sikh activists.
Mr Johal is being held on a charge of conspiring to commit murder in 2020. His charges carry the maximum penalty of death, and he is being detained in a maximum security prison. He has been detained on a number of discriminatory grounds, including his ethnicity and religion. Since his arrest, he has been under surveillance by CCTV cameras for 24 hours a day.
Currently, the case of Johal is being examined by a United Nations watchdog. Specifically, Reprieve, a British-based human rights charity, identified Mr Johal’s case in its annual report. While the facts in the report do not match the facts of the case, the charity’s investigators say that a number of the facts of the case are consistent with the allegations of mistreatment in the report.
Recently, the UK Foreign Office wrote to the Indian government expressing its concern over the case. It said that its representatives had met with the Indian Ministry of External Affairs and raised concerns about the detention. Previously, the Indian government had claimed that opposition to the case was based on its efforts to appease large voting blocs.
Leigh Day Solicitors has issued a press release on the case. Leigh Day lawyer Waleed Sheikh instructed Erin Alcock, who is leading the group’s representation of Johal.
Johal has a strong academic background. He has been awarded multiple research fellowships, and has a PhD in engineering. He has published articles in scientific journals and given expert commentary for a variety of organizations.
He has led a number of technology-focused ventures. He has a special interest in foot conditions. He has also completed dedicated knee surgery fellowships in Bristol and London. He has contributed to several national and international conferences.