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Naval Officers' Death Row: Indian Envoy Visits 8 Indian Navy Personnel

India earlier had filed an appeal against the death sentence handed down to eight former Indian Navy personnel by a Qatari court in October this year.

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The Indian envoy to Qatar on Sunday met the eight ex-Navy personnel who are sentenced to death for reasons yet to be disclosed by the Qatar government. External Affairs spokesperson Arindam Bagchi told reporters, "...our Ambassador got consular access to meet all eight in prison on December 3."

"There have been two hearings so far (these were held on November 23 and November 30). We are closely following the matter and extending all legal and consular assistance. This is a sensitive issue, but we will do whatever we can", Bagchi further added.

India earlier had filed an appeal against the death sentence handed down to eight former Indian Navy personnel by a Qatari court last month.

Qatar court gives death sentences

On October 26, Qatar's Court of First Instance gave eight former Indian Navy personnel death sentence.

India described the ruling as "deeply" shocking and vowed to explore all legal options in the case.

 As per media reports, the ex-Navy officers who worked with private company Al Dahra, were arrested in August last year reportedly in an alleged case of espionage

Neither the Qatari authorities nor New Delhi made the charges against the Indian nationals public.

India's reaction

In its reaction to the ruling by the Qatari court, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) last month said it is attaching "high importance" to this case and is exploring all legal options.

The charges were filed against the eight Indian navy veterans on March 25 and they were tried under Qatari law.

All of the former Navy officers had "unblemished stints" of up to 20 years in the Indian Navy and had held important positions including that of instructors in the force, former military officials had said.

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