India requests consular access to 8 former Indian Navy officers in Qatar custody: MEA

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The Indian authorities are requesting consular access from the Qatari government for eight former navy personnel who were imprisoned in Doha, according to Ministry of External Affairs.

Speaking at the weekly media briefing, MEA Spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said: “Yes, this issue is something that we have been pursuing and talked about it earlier. Our embassy in Doha has been regularly raising the issue with the Qatari authorities. That some family members have recently been permitted to visit their relatives in detention. We are separately seeking further consular access and as soon as we have some updates we will continue to share them.”

In answer to questions about the incarceration of eight former Navy officers who were employed in Qatar, Bagchi made this statement. Since August 30, eight former Indian Navy officers have being held captive in Doha.

When asked if he brought up the issue of the detained eight former Indian naval officers while there, the MEA Spokesperson responded, “No,” further adding that “At the invitation of Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, Emir of the State of Qatar, Vice President Jagdeep Dhankhar visit Qatar to attend the inaugural ceremony of the 2022 FIFA World Cup. As you are aware he had interaction with the Indian community. His program is very short and did not permit structured meetings, however, he did briefly meet the leaders during the meeting.”

He strongly stated that because to Dhankhar’s brief stay, he was unable to schedule formal meetings with the authorities.

“The case of 8 naval officials imprisoned in Doha since August has been pursued but not by the VP during his recent visit to Qatar,” an MEA spokesperson added.

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