India has expressed gratitude towards the Qatar court's decision to release eight former Indian Army personnel who were previously facing the death penalty, as stated by the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA). The MEA announced that the Qatar court had released all eight former Indian Navy personnel in its custody, with seven of them having already returned to India.
In its statement, the MEA said, "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 home-coming of these nationals."
Earlier negotiations between Qatar and India led to the commutation of the capital punishment for the incarcerated Indian Navy veterans to an extended prison term.
According to the MEA statement, out of the total eight former Indian Navy officers imprisoned in Qatar, seven have now returned to India, with arrangements underway for the repatriation of the last released veteran.
The eight Indian nationals, previously serving in the Indian Navy, were detained in Qatar in October 2022 over allegations of espionage related to a submarine program. They were convicted of espionage by the Qatari court and initially sentenced to death on undisclosed charges.
The MEA expressed its profound dismay at the court's verdict, declaring it "deeply shocking," and affirmed its commitment to exploring all available legal avenues to have the charges against the former Indian Navy personnel dismissed.
The Dahra Global case underwent a significant development last year when the Qatari court, following intervention by the Indian government, commuted the death sentence of the Indian nationals to imprisonment.