Jagtar Singh Johal Case : Preet K Gill calls for Mark Field, FCO Minsiter to withdraw his comments

By 16th December 2017 0 Comments

Preet Gill UK MP calls for Mark Field, FCO Minsiter to withdraw his comments after many errors in Jagtar Singh Johal case

Full Text Of Reply:

Dear Mark,
Thank you for your response dated 1 December 2017 that I received in my office earlier this week.
I was shocked to see that you had written ‘Mr Johal has confirmed that he was “fine”‘ given the facts of this case that have been widely reported in the mainstream media.
When his lawyer first met him on 14 November, some 10 days after his abduction, Jagtar alleged that he had been subject to third degree torture. You confirmed earlier this week in response to written Parliamentary Question 117248 from Bim Afolami, the Conservative MP for Hitchin and Harpenden, that consular staff were made aware of the allegations through Jagtar’s Lawyer
At their first meeting with Jagtar, some 12 days after his abduction on 16 November. the senior consular officer concluded that Jagtar was ‘vulnerable’, despite two senior police officers being present that prevented Jagtar from discussing the torture and mistreatment he has experienced. I am surprised you overlooked acknowledging this important fact in your response.
You also confirmed in your written response to Bim Afolami that it was your priority to inquire about these specific allegations with Jagtar in private, but admitted consular staff had not yet secured a private meeting. Despite the intervention of the Foreign Secretary that you mention and a court order on 24 November, it is completely unacceptable that the Indian police have to date refused to provide British consular staff, including the Deputy High Commissioner, private access to meet Jagtar and corroborate his allegations of third degree torture. Again, in what appears to be either a unfortunate oversight or a deliberate omission, your response fails to mention the lack of private access to put your comment of “fine” into context.
Given the situation regarding a lack of private access, I am puzzled and worried why the Foreign and Commonwealth Office:
a. is refusing to accept and act upon the written affidavit of his lawyer of torture allegations made by Jagtar; and
b. has turned down repeated requests by his family to take action.
When I shared your letter with Jagtar’s family they were deeply upset with what you had written, were concerned that private access had still not been secured and that the allegations of third degree torture had still not been pursued. Martin Docherty-Hughes has also raised his serious concerns with your letter.
Given the facts of the case that I have set out, I find your response that Mr Johal has confirmed that he was “fine° deeply unfortunate. I have been copied letters that you have sent to other MPs on a later date that do not make the same reference
I feel that your comment comes across as somewhat insensitive to Jagtar’s family, and I strongly suggest that the comment is immediately withdrawn, not least as it is already being picked up by the Indian press and may unfortunately be seen as turning a blind eye to the allegations of torture against a British citizen.
Yours sincerely,
Preet Kaur Gill MP Member of Parliament for Birmingham Edgebaston Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group for British Sikhs

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