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    How A 2015 Treaty With Qatar Can Hold Hope For Indian Navy Veterans

    The eight men were convicted by a court in Qatar in October.

    New Delhi:

    A treaty on transfer of sentenced persons can come to the aid of eight Indian Navy veterans on death row in Qatar.  The men, sentenced to death by a Qatar court in October for charges not yet known, got their sentence commuted today. Details of the new punishment are unclear since the judgement is yet to be released. In case of long jail terms, they can be transferred to India under the 2015 treaty, a retired Navy officer has said.

    Former Navy chief Admiral Arun Prakash, who has been raising questions about the Qatar case, said in social media that the 2015 treaty can provide respite to the Naval veterans, some of whom have been highly decorated officers.

    “Under this 2015 agreement, convicted individuals can be repatriated to serve out the sentence at home. Sentence of Indian Navy veterans must be commuted or pardon obtained and this agreement invoked,” he posted on X, formerly Twitter, on Tuesday.

    In December 2014, the Union cabinet had green lighted the treaty with Qatar, under which Indian prisoners imprisoned in Qatar or vice-versa can be transferred their own country so they can be near their families.

    The treaty with Qatar was signed in 2015 during the visit of Qatari Foreign Minister Dr. Khalid Bin Mohammed Al Attiyah to India.

    “Under this agreement, Indian prisoners convicted in Qatar can be brought to India to serve the remaining part of their sentence.

    Similarly Qatari citizens convicted in India can be sent to their home country to serve their sentence. This agreement would enable the sentenced persons to be near their families and would help in the process of their social rehabilitation,” the foreign ministry had said.

    Qatar is one of the 30-plus nations with which India has such an agreement.

    The eight men were convicted by a court in Qatar in October. They have been in jail since August last year the charges against them were never made public. The families have denied allegations of spying on behalf of Israel. They have also said they will immediately file an appeal – a process that could take three months. Any possibility of a royal pardon can be thought of only after the appeal verdict, sources said.



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