In a significant diplomatic breakthrough, Qatar released eight Indian Navy veterans who were previously sentenced to death on espionage charges. The decision to commute their capital punishment to extended prison terms came after diplomatic intervention by New Delhi.
The Union government welcomed Qatar’s decision to release the Indian nationals, expressing gratitude to the Amir of Qatar for facilitating their return. The MEA issued an official statement affirming India’s appreciation for the diplomatic resolution.
The Union government released an official statement welcoming the decision to set the veteran officers free, saying, “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 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.”
The Navy veterans have been detained in Qatar since October 2022, accused of spying on a submarine program. Initially sentenced to death by a Qatari court, their sentence was later reduced to imprisonment.
While the detailed judgment is awaited, the MEA has remained in close contact with the legal team in Qatar and the families of the detainees. Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s recent meeting with Qatar’s Emir emphasised bilateral cooperation and the welfare of the Indian community in Qatar.
The MEA reaffirmed its commitment to provide consular and legal assistance to the detainees and vowed to pursue the matter with Qatari authorities. With the legal process ongoing, the government remains vigilant about safeguarding the interests of the Indian nationals involved.