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India files appeal against death sentence awarded to 8 ex-Navy personnel in Qatar

The Ministry of External Affairs on Thursday said that India has filed an appeal with Qatar over the death penalty to eight former Indian Navy personnel, who were arrested in August last year and sentenced last month.

At a media briefing here, Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said, “There is a court of first instance in Qatar that passed a judgment on October 26 in a case involving eight Indian employees of the Al Dahra company.”

He said that the judgment is “confidential” and it has been shared with the legal team.

“And they are deciding the next steps and an appeal has already been filed,” Bagchi said.

He said that we are also engaged with the Qatari authorities.

“On November 7, our Embassy got the consular access and we met them there. We are also in contact with their family members and the Minister S Jaishankar had met them last month in Delhi,” the MEA spokesperson said.

He also said that this is a very sensitive issue. “We will continue to extend all legal and consular support and I would urge everyone not to engage in speculation considering the sensitive nature of the case,” he added.

The eight persons were arrested last year after being charged with spying for Israel by Qatar authorities. The men also include decorated officers who once commanded major Indian warships, were working for Dahra Global Technologies and Consultancy Services, a private firm that provided training and related services to Qatar’s armed forces.

The bail pleas of the ex-Navy personnel were rejected numerous times and their detention was extended by Qatari authorities. The Court of First Instance of Qatar passed a judgment awarding them the death sentence.

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