Family of Indian Navy officials arrested by Qatar for espionage file ‘mercy plea’ with Emir

The current Emir of Qatar, Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani.

New Delhi: Family members of some of the eight Indian Navy veterans who are currently in detention and under trial in Qatar have filed a mercy petition with the country’s Emir seeking their pardon, the New Indian Express has reported.

The report quoting an unnamed source said that the petition was prompted by the veterans’ age – most are over 60 – and the lack of clarity on what charges have been filed against them and how long the trial will take to complete.

It is currently unclear which of the veterans the family members who filed the petition are related to. A report by the Sunday Guardian suggests that the petition was filed sometime before June 4 this year.

Although the Qatari government has not yet officially announced what the veterans have been charged with, The Tribune reported in April that they’ve been charged with spying for Israel and are facing the death penalty.

Qatar severed diplomatic relations with Israel following a three-week armed conflict in the Gaza strip between December 2008 and January 2009.

Charges were filed against the veterans on March 25 this year, TNIE reported. They were first picked up by Qatari officials in August 2022 and reportedly spent at least the next eight months in solitary confinement.

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