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Pardon eludes former Navy men in Qatar

Pardon eludes former Navy men in Qatar

S Jaishankar, External Affairs Minister

Tribune News Service

Sandeep Dikshit

New Delhi, December 19

The National Day of Qatar on Monday ended in disappointment for the eight ex-Indian Navy officials on death row in Doha after a royal pardon eluded them due to a technical reason — their appeals are being heard by a higher court. Hopes had initially arisen after the Amiri Dewan, the Emir’s administrative office, said an order was issued on December 14 pardoning a number of prisoners. On Monday, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar had conveyed National Day greetings to Qatar’s PM and Foreign Minister but he made no mention about the eight ex-Navy men.

Hopes now rest on either the appeal succeeding in the courts or the Emir pardoning them during Ramzan which fall in March-April of next year.

Hopes also rest on PM Narendra Modi appealing to the Qatar Emir for clemency or international circumstances compelling a release of prisoners. For instance, under western pressure over the murder of their asset Jamal Khashoggi, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman needed to display a magnanimous streak elsewhere which he did by releasing 850 prisoners in 2019 at the request of PM Narendra Modi.

Gulf nations also release prisoners on the occasion of a high-level incoming visit.

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#Indian Navy #Qatar

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