Detention of Paramjeet Singh January 2016

Thank you for contacting me recently regarding the recent detention of Paramjeet Singh Saini in Portugal in December 2015.

I am aware of the great concerns that have been raised by this case, particularly amongst the UK's Sikh community.

At this time, the Government has not received any representations from either the Indian or the Portuguese government on this ongoing legal case, and I understand that the Indian authorities have until 26th January to present Portugal with a formal extradition request.

The Foreign Secretary has emphasised that the Government has made the Portuguese authorities aware of Mr Saini's asylum status in the UK, which was granted to him due to fears of maltreatment by the Indian authorities. I recognise that these fears are also compounded by the allegation that Mr Saini's brother was tortured and killed in India.

The Leader of the Opposition has written to the Prime Minister of Portugal to highlight Mr Saini's case, and to seek an examination of why Mr Saini has not been returned to the UK and to see whether he can be allowed to return in the near future.

This case raises particular concerns about the rights of those who have been granted asylum and the extent to which they are able to travel within the European Union. I can assure you that I will continue to follow this case closely, and I hope that the case is resolved efficiently and appropriately.

Thank you once again for writing to me and for sharing your views.