When MI6 refuses your request for a meeting, it’s time to step things up.
MI6 may have played a role in my brother’s torture, so I wrote to Richard Moore, the head of MI6, to ask him for a meeting. But he refused to meet me - and my brother continues to languish in an Indian Jail.
Instead, I was diverted to Foreign Secretary, James Cleverley, and it was clear from talking to him that my brother’s life is not his priority.
Every morning, I wake up feeling like I have failed Jagtar. So, I am asking you to help me reach Richard Moore so we can discuss how to bring my brother home.
If everyone in the UK added their name to my letter, Richard Moore would have to listen. I need your help, will you sign the letter with me today? >>>
I am the brother of Jagtar Singh Johal. Jagtar is a British Sikh who blogged about human rights abuses against the Sikh population in India. He is now arbitrarily detained and facing a possible death sentence in India after being tortured into ‘confessing’ to trumped-up charges – possibly following a tip off by the agency you run. I have spent every day of the last five years seeking help from the British Government to bring my brother back home.
Last time, you refused to meet me and redirected me to Foreign Secretary James Cleverley, but I’m afraid that meeting only caused further upset and disappointment. Mr Cleverley sadly showed no intention of seeking Jagtar's release and instead plans to leave my brother's case to the Indian justice system. The same system which hasn’t heard Jagtar’s pleas on torture and mistreatment for over five years. The same justice system that kept Jagtar in detention for years without trial. The same system that’s charging him based on a forced confession that he signed after being tortured. And the same system that could sentence him to death.
I am writing to you again to discuss if there are ways we can work together to bring Jagtar back. We can never get back the five years we’ve spent without Jagtar. But with your help, maybe one day soon, he’ll be walking back through our front door in Dumbarton, instead of fearing the death penalty in Delhi.
I’m calling on you to act because I understand that MI6 may have played a role in Jagtar’s detention and torture by providing information about him to the Indian authorities, putting him on the radar of the Punjab Police. I am sure as the Director of MI6 you take very seriously any possibility your organisation might be involved in the torture of a British citizen.
We both have obligations here, you as the person charged with the British public’s safety, and me as Jagtar’s brother. He will only be safe when he is back home with his wife and our family in Dumbarton.
Over five years on from when Jagtar was first arrested, the UK Government has still not called for him to be freed – even though UN experts, opposition parties, and human rights organisations have.
For these reasons, I would like to meet with you. I know the work you do is very sensitive, and I understand there are things you may not be able to discuss with me. I would be very grateful, though, if you could spare a little time to talk about how we clear up the mess that’s been created and bring my brother back.
Gurpreet Singh Johal