8,330 Indians in foreign jails, highest in UAE and Saudi Arabia

King Fahd International Airport is the main international gateway to Dammam in Saudi Arabia. [Photo: Dammam Airport]

New Delhi: As many as 8,330 Indians are lodged in jails in foreign countries with 1,611 imprisoned in the United Arab Emirates alone, the government informed the Rajya Sabha on Thursday.

In a written reply in the Upper House, Minister of State for External Affairs V Muraleedharan said 1,461 Indian nationals were in prisons in Saudi Arabia followed by 1,222 in Nepal, 696 in Qatar, 446 in Kuwait, 341 in Malaysia, 308 in Pakistan, 294 in the US, 277 in Bahrain and 249 in the UK.

He said 178 Indian nationals are languishing in jails in China, 157 in Italy and 139 in Oman.

Indian nationals are lodged in prisons in 90 countries, according to the information shared by V Muraleedharan with the Rajya Sabha.

“The issue of release and repatriation of Indian nationals in foreign prisons is regularly pursued by Indian missions and posts abroad with the local authorities concerned,” the minister said.

He said due to strong privacy laws prevailing in many countries, the local authorities do not share information on prisoners unless the person concerned consents to the disclosure of such information.

As soon as the information about the detention or arrest of an Indian national is received by an Indian mission or post, it immediately gets in touch with the local foreign office and other local authorities concerned to get consular access to ascertain the facts of the case, confirm his or her nationality and ensure his or her welfare, Muraleedharan said.

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