Qatar reduces death sentences for eight Indian naval officers

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In a significant development, a court in Qatar has commuted the death sentences of eight former Indian naval officers, as announced by India’s foreign ministry.

The ministry’s statement acknowledged the reduction in sentences but did not specify the revised penalties. The charges against the individuals have not been officially disclosed by Qatar or India, but reports suggest allegations of spying for Israel.

Despite the sensitivity of the case, Israel’s embassy in India declined to comment, emphasizing it as a non-Israeli matter.

The nature of the charges and proceedings remains confidential. India expressed shock in October when the death sentences were initially issued, prompting an appeal against the verdict.

The arrested individuals, employed by the private company Al Dahra, were widely reported to be former Indian Navy personnel, although specifics about the charges have not been publicly disclosed.

India’s foreign minister had described them as “ex-servicemen” in parliament. The families of the men confirmed their naval background to local media.

In a recent development, India’s ambassador to Qatar visited the incarcerated men, and during the latest court hearing, Indian officials, along with family members, were present in the Court of Appeal of Qatar. The detailed judgment is awaited, and India remains in close consultation with the legal team and family members to determine the next course of action.

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