Over 8,000 Indians lodged in foreign jails: MEA

10 December, 2022 | Pranay Lad

indians National

According to Union Minister of State for External Affairs V Muraleedharan, 4,389 of the over 8,000 Indians now detained overseas are housed in Gulf nations.

In response to a question in the Lok Sabha, MoS Muraleedharan stated: “As per the information available with the Ministry, the number of Indian prisoners, including under-trials, in foreign jails at present is 8441, out of which 4,389 are lodged in jails of Gulf countries (United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, Bahrain, Oman).”

According to the Agreement on Transfer of Sentenced Persons (TSP), which was signed on November 23, 2011, Indian nationals lodged in UAE prisons can be transferred to India to serve the remaining portion of their sentence and vice versa. This was stated by the MoS in response to a question about whether inmates lodged in UAE jails can serve the remainder of their sentence in jails in India.

Requests for the necessary paperwork to process the transfer of sentenced persons have been sent to the UAE side. “The transfer of a sentenced person to his country of nationality under the TSP Agreement is dependent on the completion of various formalities, such as the prisoner’s willingness to be transferred, consent of the transferring and receiving country, availability of complete documentation necessary for processing the request, clearance from appropriate agencies, etc.

This comes after the case of the eight ex-navy officers who were arrested in Doha once more gained attention.

Arindam Bagchi, a spokeswoman for the MEA, stated on December 1 that the embassy is actively following the matter of the ex-Indian Navy personnel who were detained in Qatar and that India is routinely responding to the situation.

He said that the arrested Indians are in contact with their relatives back home.
We believe that imprisoned Indians are allowed to speak to their family in India over the telephone currently; some of them have families residing in Doha, an MEA spokeswoman said. “We’ve been replying to this routinely. Our embassy is aggressively following the situation,” the spokesperson said.

The MEA official also said that certain inmates are permitted to visit in person once a week since they have family in Doha.

We will continue to provide all available consular support and seek more consular access for these individuals, Bagchi said. “Those families are being permitted to have physical interactions, at least on a weekly basis.