‘Our ambassador got consular access’: MEA on 8 veterans on death row in Qatar
A Qatar court sentenced seven retired naval officers and a sailor to death in October on charges of espionage.
India on Thursday said the Indian ambassador got the consular access to meet all eight Indians sentenced to death in Qatar on December 3.
“There have been 2 hearings. We filed an appeal, from the families, and the detainees had a final appeal. 2 hearings have since been held. We are closely following the matter and extending all legal and consular assistance. Meanwhile, our ambassador got consular access to meet all 8 of them in prison on 3rd December. This is a sensitive issue, but we will continue to follow and whatever we can share, we will do so,” external affairs ministry spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said in the weekly briefing.
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A Qatar court sentenced seven retired naval officers and a sailor to death in October. The eight men were employees of Al Dahra Global Technologies, a private firm that provided training and other services to Qatar’s armed forces and security agencies. They were held on unspecified charges since August last year, with reports saying they were accused of espionage.
India had described the ruling as "deeply" shocking and vowed to explore all legal options in the case. An appeal has already been filed against the death sentence and a higher court in Qatar has admitted the plea. The appeal has been filed by the legal team of the detained Indian nationals
On December 1, Navy chief Admiral R Hari Kumar had said that the Indian government is making all-out efforts to ensure the return of the ex-navy veterans. “There is total support and effort being put in by the government,” the Navy chief had said.
“The ex-naval officers in Qatar are veterans...and we are interested in ensuring their welfare is taken care of. I want to reassure you that the Indian government is putting all-out efforts to ensure that they are brought back," the Navy chief added.
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