The Sikh Federation (UK) and the Swiss-based Movement Against Atrocities and Repression (MAAR) yesterday organised a meeting at the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights in Geneva.
Following the meeting the case of Paramjeet Singh was formally referred to the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention to investigate. The Sikh Federation (UK) wrote to the Rapporteur, Professor Seong-Phil Hong heading up the Working Group to claim Paramjeet Singh has been unfairly imprisoned in Portugal at the request of the Indian authorities since 18 December 2015.
Bhai Amrik Singh, the Chair of the Sikh Federation (UK) said:
“Given the decision of the court in Portugal yesterday to extend the period of detention by another 22 days we have called on the working group to launch an “urgent action” procedure in this case.”
“We have explained the additional period is to allow the Indian authorities more time to produce evidence on the extradition of Paramjeet Singh to India where he will almost certainly be subject to torture and possible death.”
The attempted extradition to India by another country of a person granted political asylum in the UK and what may happen if he was returned to India raises fundamental concerns that have much broader consequences for all individuals granted political asylum that Working Group and other parts of the UN mechanism has been requested to challenge.
The British Government granted Paramjeet Singh asylum more than 15 years ago in 2000 as the authorities were convinced his life would be in danger if returned to India. His elder brother was tortured in jail and was subsequently killed in a case which remains unsolved.
BBC One West Midlands coverage today on Paramjeet Singh's detention in Portugal.#SaveParamjeetSingh
Posted by The Sikh Network on Monday, January 11, 2016