Gurjot Singh: Why We Are Protesting To #FreeJaggiNow
"Locally, organisations and Sangat from all over the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) are coming together this Friday November 4 at 2 pm EST to protest at the British Consulate in Downtown Toronto."
November 3, 2022 | 2 min. read | Opinion
Jagtar Singh Johal (Jaggi) is a 35-year-old British National from the UK who has been unlawfully detained in India for five years.
He went to India in 2017 to get married and a few days later was abducted whilst shopping with his wife and arbitrarily thrown into prison.
While freedom of expression is an espoused fundamental right in both India and the UK, the real reason Jaggi was abducted is because of his online activism and his contribution to his very own website in which he documented the persecution of minority Sikhs in India that took place during the Sikh Genocide.
Since his arrest he has been tortured and made to sign a blank confession.
After being imprisoned for over 1800 days, the government has finally set the trial date after officially charging him on three counts of trumped up terrorism related charges. The prosecution is seeking the death penalty if proven guilty. The blank confession is a key part of their case. In response to this latest development, the Sikh community from all over the world has decided to protest.
Locally, organisations and Sangat from all over the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) are coming together this Friday November 4 at 2 pm EST to protest at the British Consulate in Downtown Toronto.
The ultimate goal of this protest is to stand in solidarity with Jaggi and to show the British government that the world is watching them and that their inability to stand up for the basic wellbeing of their own citizens will not be tolerated.
It is important to note that the British government supported the Darbar Sahib Complex invasion by providing military training and intelligence to Indian forces.
Sikhs have had enough of the UK government prioritizing trade deals over the safety of its citizens.
We are demanding Jaggi's immediate release.
I personally have grown up hearing stories of Shaheeds (Martyrs) from the 1980s and to see somebody who is trying to spread the stories of my Shaheeds to other Sikhs around the world be illegally imprisoned and tortured has had a major impact on me.
It releases anger and sadness, and forces me to reflect on how countries like India and the UK care little for its Sikh citizens.
Now is the time to speak up for Jaggi's release. With clear evidence that the UK government does not care about Jaggi, it is the job of the public to expose these morally bankrupt governments and do all we can to bring Jaggi back home safely.
A formal demand will also be handed to the British Consulate in Toronto, which will include clear evidence of Jaggi's torture and how he has been and still is being illegally detained.
I encourage all citizens from the GTA to come out on November 4, 2022, and join us in this cause.
With all the Sangats' help, we will see our lion, Jaggi, come back home.
Gurjot Singh was born and raised in Brampton, Canada. He is actively doing research around Sikh issues and how minorities are affected by discriminatory countries.
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