Qatar has released eight jailed former Indian Navy personnel nearly three-and-a-half months after they were handed down death sentences in a case of suspected espionage.
The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said seven of them had returned to India and that India appreciated the decision by the Amir of Qatar to enable the release and homecoming of the Indians.
“The Government of India welcomes the release of eight Indian nationals working for the Dahra Global company who were detained in Qatar,” the MEA said.
“Seven out of the eight of them have returned to India. We appreciate the decision by the Amir of the State of Qatar to enable the release and homecoming of these nationals,” it said in a brief statement.
The Navy veterans were on October 26 given death sentences by Qatar’s Court of First Instance. The Court of Appeal in the Gulf nation on December 28 commuted the capital punishment and sentenced them to jail terms for varying durations.
The Indian nationals, who worked with the private company Al Dahra, were arrested in August 2022 reportedly in an alleged case of espionage.
One of the Navy veterans who returned from Qatar told a news agency, “We are very happy that we are back in India, safely. We thank PM Modi as this was possible only because of his personal intervention.