Qatar commutes sentences of ex-Indian Navy officers on death row

Qatar commutes sentences of ex-Indian Navy officers on death row

NEW DELHI (Arabnews): The death sentences of eight former Indian Navy officers have been commuted by a Qatari court, the Indian Ministry of External Affairs said on Thursday.

The men, employees of security firm Dahra — a private company providing training to the Qatari Emiri Naval Forces — have been in custody since August 2022.

The Indian government said in October this year that the Court of First Instance of Qatar sentenced them to death.

Their sentences were commuted on Thursday.

“We have noted the verdict today of the Court of Appeal of Qatar in the Dahra Global case, in which the sentences have been reduced,” the ministry said in a statement.

“The detailed judgment is awaited. We are in close touch with the legal team as well as the family members to decide on the next steps.”

The ministry said the ruling commuting the sentence was made in the presence of the Indian ambassador to Qatar and the family members of the ex-officers.

While official charges have not been made public and Qatar has yet to release any public information on the arrest and sentence, media widely reported last year that the eight former servicemen were arrested over spying for Israel.

Indian authorities, too, have repeatedly declined to comment on what accusations the men were facing, with the ministry saying that due to the “confidential and sensitive” nature of the case, “it would not be appropriate to make any further comment at this juncture.”