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Indian Envoy Meets 8 Former Navy Officers On Death Row In Qatar, MEA Says ‘India Closely Following Case

Story Highlights
  • After the Qatari court's decision last month, the MEA said that it was giving this case "high importance" and is looking into all of its legal options.
  • All of the former Navy officers who are facing the death penalty in Qatar had "unblemished stints" of up to 20 years in the Indian Navy

Arindam Bagchi, a spokesman for the Ministry of External Affairs, said in briefing on Thursday, December 7, that the Indian ambassador to Qatar recently met with eight former members of the Indian Navy who are on death row. There were also two hearings for an appeal against the death sentence given by a Qatari court.

“As you know, we filed an appeal on behalf of the families and the people who were detained.” As of now, there have been two hearings. “I think one is on November 30 and the other is on November 23.”

Bagchi also said that the ministry is keeping a close eye on things and offering full legal and consular support.

“I believe the next hearing is soon.” We are keeping a close eye on the situation and are offering all legal and consular help. At the same time, on December 3, our ambassador was able to meet all eight men in prison through consular access. “This is something we will keep an eye on,” he said.

The navy veterans were given the death penalty by Qatar’s Court of First Instance on October 26. India said the decision was “deeply” shocking and promised to look into all of its legal options.

Family members of the Indians who were sentenced to death filed an appeal.

When asked directly if Prime Minister Narendra Modi talked about the issue with Qatar’s Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani when they met last week at the COP28 summit in Dubai, Bagchi did not give a direct answer.

Rather, he talked about Modi’s post on X (which used to be Twitter) which said, “We had a meaningful conversation about the potential of bilateral partnership and the well-being of the Indian community in Qatar,” which was quoted by the prime minister.

The eight people listed above were arrested in August 2022, reportedly for espionage. The company they worked for was Al Dahra.

After the Qatari court’s decision last month, the MEA said that it was giving this case “high importance” and is looking into all of its legal options.

On March 25, charges were brought against the eight veterans of the Indian Navy. They were tried under Qatari law. The Supreme Court’s first hearing of the trial took place on March 29, 2018.

All of the former Navy officers who are facing the death penalty in Qatar had “unblemished stints” of up to 20 years in the Indian Navy, where they held important jobs like instructors.

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