Following a decision by a Qatari court, eight former Indian naval officers, who were previously on death row for undisclosed charges, have been freed. According to Delhi’s foreign ministry, seven of the individuals have already returned to India.
Earlier reports indicated that in January, their death sentences were commuted to various prison terms. The charges against them, while undisclosed by Qatar and India, were reportedly related to espionage for Israel while they were employed by Dahra Global, a private firm in Qatar.
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Delhi’s foreign ministry expressed gratitude for Qatar’s decision, acknowledging the Amir’s role in facilitating the release. The arrest of these officers had garnered significant attention in India back in 2022, with India expressing shock over the death sentences imposed by the Court of First Instance in Qatar last October.
India subsequently filed an appeal against the verdict, despite the delicate situation affecting bilateral relations.
The ties between India and Qatar, however, remained strong, as evidenced by their recent multi-billion dollar deal for liquefied natural gas imports. Diplomatic efforts between the two nations eventually led to the men’s release. India’s ambassador to Qatar visited them in prison, and later, the Court of Appeal in Qatar commuted their sentences.
In January, the foreign ministry confirmed the conversion of their death penalties into various prison terms, without specifying the lengths of these sentences.