Qatar’s court has handed down the death penalty to eight Indian nationals who were arrested in the country last year, according to a statement by the Indian government on Thursday. The Indian government expressed profound shock at the verdict and emphasized the high importance it places on this case. They intend to raise the matter with Qatari authorities.

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Reports from local media suggested that these eight individuals, all of whom were employed by a private company in Qatar, were detained in

August 2022 on espionage charges, though Reuters couldn’t independently verify these allegations. The specific charges brought against these former Indian navy officials have not been publicly disclosed by either the Indian government or Qatari authorities.

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Requests for comments made to India’s foreign ministry spokesperson remain unanswered. The

government’s statement underlined the confidential nature of the proceedings, making it inappropriate to provide further details at this stage. Indian foreign ministry officials, including Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, have previously stated that the precise nature of the charges against

the eight Indian detainees remains unclear. Notably, Qatar is home to over 800,000 Indian citizens who live and work in the country.