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Indian envoy met 8 former Navy officers on death row in Qatar, says MEA: ‘India closely following case’

The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) on Thursday informed that India’s envoy met the 8 former Navy officers who are currently on death row in Qatar. While emphasizing that India is closely following the case, MEA spokesperson Arindam Bagchi also shared some updates on the case and said 2 hearings have been held on the appeals filed by detainees and their families through the Indian government.

“There have been 2 hearings. We filed an appeal, from the families, and the detainees had a final appeal. 2 hearings have since been held. We are closely following the matter and extending all legal and consular assistance. Meanwhile, our ambassador got consular access to meet all 8 of them in prison on 3rd December. This is a sensitive issue, but we will continue to follow and whatever we can share, we will do so,” MEA spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said.

Earlier, the Indian embassy in Qatar received counselor access to the imprisoned Indians in November.

Arindam Bagchi also mentioned the recent meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Qatar Emir Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad on the sidelines of COP-28 in Dubai. The two leaders discussed the bilateral relations in detail and the well-being of the Indian community in Qatar, the MEA spokesperson added.

What’s the case?

Qatar’s Court of First Instance gave death sentences to 8 former Indian Navy officials on 26 October. India, which said that the ruling is “deeply shocking” is exploring all legal options in the case. In November, the Qatari authorities accepted the appeal filed by the Indian government in the case and the next hearing of the court is expected soon.

Officially, both Qatar and India have chosen to not reveal the details of the case including the reason for their arrest and subsequent conviction with the death penalty, but the sources have claimed that the former Indian Navy men are accused of spying for Israel.

 

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Published: 07 Dec 2023, 04:40 PM IST

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