The Indian government on Thursday vowed to explore “all legal options” after a Qatari court handed death sentences to eight Indian employees of a Qatari company on spying charges.
According to Indian media reports, the eight men are retired Indian naval officers who worked for the consulting company Al Dahra, advising the Qatari government on the acquisition of submarines.
India’s External Affairs Ministry said in a statement it was awaiting the detailed judgment in the case.
“We are in touch with the family members and the legal team, and we are exploring all legal options,” it said. “We attach high importance to this case and have been following it closely. We will continue to extend all consular and legal assistance. We will also take up the verdict with Qatari authorities.”
The statement did not provide further details.
Qatar’s government declined to immediately comment on the sentences.
Qatari authorities provided New Delhi consular access to the eight Indian nationals during their trial.
Millions of Indians live and work in the Gulf, a large number of them as semi-skilled or unskilled workers. They constitute an important source of income for India and contribute to the success of Gulf economies.