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‘Censorship’ as Instagram removes campaign to free Jagtar Singh Johal

SOCIAL media giant Instagram has been accused of censorship after the company wiped the page for a Scottish man who has been detained without trial in India for over three years.

Jagtar Singh Johal has been held in custody since 2017 and claims he’s been tortured by the Indian authorities.

The Dumbarton man, known to friends as Jaggi, was taken from the street just a fortnight after his Indian wedding.

The #FreeJaggiNow campaign, co-ordinated by his solicitor brother Gurpreet Singh Johal, has used social media to push for his release, generating support around the world. Now it has accused Instagram of “silencing” its work after its page on the popular platform was deleted.

Gurpreet told The National: “Social media has allowed us to let Jagtar’s voice be heard and amplified by people around the world, from Bollywood singers to Canadian politicians.

“Indian authorities have tried to suppress Jaggi’s voice, now Instagram actually has. We are highly disappointed.”

Gurpreet says he was given no warning prior to the action on the account and still does not know why it was taken.

The National contacted Instagram but received no response to by the time we went to print. The last post from the account contained information about Jaggi’s 139th pre-trial preliminary hearing.

The blogger is accused of funding an assassination plot and while authorities initially said they had all the evidence they needed to prosecute him, none of that has yet been put before a court.

Addressing the account Preet Kaur Gill MP said there is “very worrying selective censorship taking place”.

Gurpreet said: “If they were going to take any action against the page, we should have received a warning. We haven’t even had an explanation.

“As far as I am aware, we have not breached any of its rules.”

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