Qatar releases eight Indian Nationals sentenced to death

Monday, 12 February 2024 - 19:59

In a significant development, eight Indian nationals who were detained and sentenced to death in Qatar on reported espionage charges have been released, according to Indian authorities.

The Ministry of External Affairs issued a statement on Monday, welcoming the release of the individuals, who were employees of the Dahra Global company in Qatar. Seven of them have already returned to India, marking the end of a protracted ordeal.

The nationals, all former servicemen of the Indian Navy, were working for Dahra Global Technologies, a defense services provider based in Qatar. However, details surrounding their conviction remained shrouded in secrecy, with no clear information on the offense they allegedly committed or the charges brought against them.

Qatar has not publicly addressed the arrest, sentencing, and subsequent release of the individuals, further adding to the mystery surrounding the case. The Indian ministry refrained from disclosing specific details about the charges due to the "confidential and sensitive nature" of the proceedings.

Last October, the Indian ministry received information about a Qatar court passing the death penalty for the eight nationals, prompting diplomatic efforts to secure their release. Subsequently, the sentences were reduced, although specifics regarding the revised verdict were not provided.

Following their release, several of the individuals expressed gratitude towards the Indian government, acknowledging Prime Minister Narendra Modi's personal intervention in facilitating their return. The case has attracted widespread attention in India and has been viewed as a diplomatic challenge for the Modi government.

The release of the eight nationals holds particular significance given the strong trade relationship between India and Qatar, with hundreds of thousands of Indians forming a substantial portion of Qatar's foreign workforce.

The timing of their release, just months ahead of the Indian election, adds another layer of complexity to the narrative. As the country gears up for the electoral process, the safe return of these individuals marks a positive development amidst broader diplomatic challenges and domestic political dynamics.

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