British Sikh Activist Jagtar Singh Johal's illegal detention

Jagtar Singh Johal’s story is a troubling example of the human rights abuses that can occur in India, where the criminal justice system is often used to target and silence political dissidents and minority groups. It is important for the international community to continue to pay attention to his case and to stand in solidarity with him and other victims of human rights abuses in India

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Who is Jagtar Singh Johal?

Jagtar Singh “Jaggi” Johal is a British national who was arrested in India in 2017. The Indian police had accused him of many fabricated and trumped up charges. He denied all charges and claimed the arrest was “arbitrary and politically motivated”.

Jaggi was arrested and held without a warrant and has never been presented with formal charges until 5 and a half years of arbitrary detention. His defense lawyers argued that the police did not have enough evidence to detain him and he had been held in pre-trial detention unlawfully. He has made numerous statements while in detention, alleging that he was subjected to torture and ill-treatment, which were affirmed by two medical soldiers and countless letters hand written by jaggi.

Since his arrest, Jagtar Singh Johal has been held in custody without trial. His family and supporters claim that he has been tortured and mistreated while in detention, and that the charges against him are unfounded. They point to a lack of evidence linking him to the crimes and allege that he is being targeted because of his Sikh faith and activism on human rights issues.

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UK governments action on the arrest​

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said that the arrest of Jagtar Singh Johal “appears to be arbitrary” and called for a fair investigation. He claimed that the process of investigation so far had been “inadequate and deeply concerning” and has urged for a “swift and transparent resolution”. The UK government has requested access to Jagtar Singh Johal to ensure his human rights are being respected and protected and have raised concerns about his alleged mistreatment after his arrest.

Even though the UK government has repeatedly called for a swift and transparent resolution to the case of Jagtar Singh Johal, they have so far failed to take any strong action to help free him. Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s statements condemning the arbitrary arrest appear to be nothing but empty rhetoric and lacking any real teeth.

The potential trade deal between India and Britain could be a factor in the lack of action taken by the UK. Political pressure to keep Jagtar in an Indian jail could be high, especially since the trade deal could be potentially worth billions of pounds.  It’s possible that the UK government is reluctant to intervene for diplomatic reasons, as any move to interfere in Indian judicial proceedings could impact the prospective trade deal.  Adding to the mystery is the possible involvement of MI5


and MI6 possible involvement of MI5 and MI6 with the arrest and interrogation of Jagtar. Both agencies have been accused of using interrogation techniques to produce false confessions from suspects, and allegations have been made that the agencies have been involved in the case. Although there is no evidence that the agencies were involved, their reputation and alleged techniques have created a sense of mistrust among activists.

The UK government’s inaction and apparent lack of interest in the case of Jagtar Singh Johal has created a great sense of frustration among activists who believe he is innocent of the charges and has been treated unjustly. With a long-term trade deal potentially in the works, it remains to be seen whether the UK government will take any action to help free him or if they are content to remain indifferent.

Hand Written Letters

Social Media Sensorship

Social media pages campaigning for the release of Jagtar Singh Johal have been banned or censored multiple times. Prominent pages such as FreeJaggiNow and GPAL Media, which has been popular among Sikh activists, were removed from both Facebook and Twitter without explanation. This has raised serious concerns among activists, who believe the pages were removed due to political pressure from the Indian government.

The censorship of these pages has been seen as a gross violation of free speech and has only exacerbated the allegations of political interference in the Jagtar Singh Johal case. Activists claim the Indians authorities are attempting to silence those who criticize their actions and are attempting to hide the truth about the arrest and treatment of Jagtar. Although the pages have since been reinstated, the censorship and removal of the pages has had a negative impact on the campaign to free Jagtar has made it more difficult for activists to share information about the case and call for action. Some activists feel the bans are part of a larger effort to silence critics and stifle conversations about the case and its implications on the campaign to free Jagtar and has made it more difficult for activists to share information about the case and call for action. Some activists feel the bans are part of a larger effort to silence critics and stifle conversations about the case and its implications