Following the reversal of their death sentences, Qatar has released eight Indian soldiers
After more than 18 months of detention, which had raised concerns regarding diplomatic relations, Qatar has released eight former Indian naval officers from their death sentences, as stated by the Indian Ministry of External Affairs on Monday. The ministry attributed this decision to the Emir of Qatar.
Expressing gratitude, the ministry stated, “We appreciate the Emir of Qatar’s decision to facilitate the release and repatriation of these Indian nationals.” The individuals were employed by a private company on a naval submarine project for Qatari authorities at the time of their arrest.
Although the soldiers were reportedly charged with espionage for Israel, neither India nor Qatar confirmed these allegations. Initially sentenced to death in October, their sentences were later revoked in December.
Seven of the officers have returned to India, with some revealing to local media that their release was facilitated by Prime Minister Modi’s intervention.
The case has strained relations between Doha and India, with India being one of the world’s largest energy importers and Qatar a crucial supplier of natural gas to India. Both nations engaged in month-long negotiations for the soldiers’ release and to mend diplomatic ties, highlighting India’s influence in the Gulf region.