BAKERSFIELD, CA, USA—Voices for Freedom, a US based human rights organization is pleading the public to sign a petition for the safe return of a US citizen from India. The petition was filed for Resham Singh, an American citizen based out of Bakersfield, California. Resham Singh is the Senior Vice President of the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD–USA), and visited India to attend Sarbat Khalsa, a democratic gathering of the Sikhs taking place later this week. Upon his arrival in the New Delhi, he was arrested by the immigration law enforcement and was taken to Amritsar by the Punjab Police.
Resham Singh had attended the event in 2015 at village Chabba near Amritsar. Along with him, a number of foreign nationals were charged for “sedition” as the Punjab Government claimed the event was organized by Sikh separatists. While Reshan Singh escaped arrest in 2015, he was detained due to charges from last year.
In a press release, Voice for Freedom stated that the arrest and detention of Mr. Singh is illegal and in violation of both Indian law and international treaties that guarantee freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom of assembly, freedom from torture and due process.
Voice for Freedom alleged that Resham Singh was deprived of due process and sleep, and forced to sit continuously for more than 60 hours before seeing the Judge. To add insult to injury, and despite Supreme Court of India’s decision of rejecting the handcuffing of prisoners without a court order, the authorities have kept him shackled. Indian government continues to ignore the outcry from his attorneys, international human rights organizations like Voices for Freedom, and the international community,
“He has always been a source of inspiration, he is my idol, and he is facing persecution for something he has always believed. He is being treated differently because he attended a gathering well within his religious rights. He is not being treated fairly. He is an American and United States must act immediately to protect one of its citizens. Please bring my dad back home “, says Amritpal Kaur, daughter of Bhai Resham Singh.