Qatar Releases 8 Jailed Navy Veterans, MEA Confirms Their Return
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New Delhi: India on Monday confirmed the release of the eight ex-navy personnel who had been sentenced to death in Qatar. According to the official statement released by the Ministry of External Affairs, seven of the eight men have already returned home.
Speaking on the release of Indian ex-Navy personnel, Foreign Secretary Vinay Mohan Kwatra said, "We are grateful for their return. We deeply appreciate the decision of Qatar's government and the Amir to release them. We are happy to have seven of those Indian nationals back.”
Further, speaking on the return of the Indian national, Vinay Mohan Kwatra said, “8th Indian national has also been released and we continue to work with the Qatar government to see how quickly his return to India would be possible. Prime Minister has himself personally constantly supervised all the developments in this case and has never shied away from any initiatives that would ensure the return of Indian nationals back to home.”
The Indian government has “welcomed” this release and expressed gratitude to the government of Qatar for their swift reaction. “The Government of India welcomes the release of eight Indian nationals working for the Dahra Global company who were detained in Qatar. Seven out of the eight have returned to India,” stated MEA in a statement late last night.
The eight Indian nationals have been held in Qatar since October 2022. The ex-Navy personnel had been accused of spying on a submarine programme, allegedly for Israeli intelligence. Doha or New Delhi has not disclosed the details of their accusations.
Following their arrest, a Qatari court had awarded a death sentence to all eight of them. After multiple appeals from the Indian government, the death sentence was commuted and was reduced to jail terms. However, the prison term was also shortened later on due to the appeal from the families of the eight accused.