A WOMAN who spent years in an Iranian jail has called on the Government to urge India to release Jagtar Singh Johal.

The Scot – originally from Dumbarton – has been held in an Indian prison since 2017 and has alleged he has been tortured by authorities there on charges he and his family say are false.

Now Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, who was jailed in Iran between 2016 and 2022 on charges of attempting to overthrow the government, has called for Johal’s release.

She said the Government should show it was “standing up for him and is protecting him”.

The Prime Minister raised his case with his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi when the pair met for the G20 Summit in New Dehli earlier this year but fell short of calling for his release.

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Indian authorities have accused Johal of being involved in a terrorist plot but his family believe he has been targeted for his work to highlight human rights abuses against Sikhs in the country.

India has also strenuously denied Johal’s allegations of torture.

Zaghari-Ratcliffe told the BBC’s Sunday Show: “My case is different in essence with his case but the fact that we were both not protected by the Government is very similar.

“The British Government has not asked for his release and I think that must be very, very painful. In my story, people often remember the end of the story, which was a happy ending.

“But people often don’t remember the first couple of years that we were struggling for the Government to protect us and also to be seen as a problem that the Government needs to solve.

“I think just because we were both… I was arrested in Iran it took the government six years to take me home and in his case as well it has been six years that he’s been arrested.

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“I think there is a similarity in terms of the number of years that we have been both away.

“But it is not acceptable that the Government to date has not called for his release and also has not… when the Prime Minister Rishi Sunak went to India he didn’t call for his release and I think that is something that the Government should do in terms of protecting its citizens beyond the UK borders.”

Asked what message she would deliver to the UK Government, she added: “I think every citizen has the right to be protected.

“This is the right for Jaggi to feel that his Government is standing up for him and is protecting him.”