India was shocked by the death sentence in Qatar against eight of its citizens

New Delhi, 26 October 2023 (AFP) – India on Thursday announced that eight of its citizens had been sentenced to death by Qatar in a case that media said involved a former naval officer accused of espionage.

New Delhi said it would “transfer the ruling to the Qatari authorities” and continue to “provide all consular and legal assistance” to the detainees, the foreign ministry said in a statement.

“We have preliminary information that the Qatar Court of First Instance today handed down its verdict in a case involving eight employees of Al Dahra company who are Indian citizens,” the statement added. “We are deeply shocked by this death sentence and await the details of the verdict.”

Based in the Gulf, Al Dahra is a company that offers “complete support solutions” for the aerospace, security and defense sectors, according to its website.

There was no immediate confirmation from Qatari authorities and India’s Foreign Ministry did not provide details about the eight convicts or their alleged crimes.

“As the proceedings in this matter are confidential, it would be inappropriate to provide further comment at this stage,” the ministry statement added, saying it was “investigating all legal options.”

However, some Indian media reported that those convicted included former naval officers – including former captains and commanders – and that the men were arrested in Doha in August 2022.

The Times of India, Hindustan Times and Press Trust of India all reported that the men had been arrested on “suspected espionage.”

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