Twenty three Indians serving different sentences have been pardoned by HH the Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani on the occasion of Holy month of Ramadan.
The Emir usually grants clemency two times a year, during the Qatar National Day and the holy month of Ramadan. The act of pardoning expatriate prisoners is seen as a way of extending goodwill to the country’s expat population.
The total number of prisoners released have not been announced. However, the number of Indians released was disclosed by Indian Prime Minister in a tweet.
After his maiden visit to Qatar, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted :
A special gesture to mark the start of a special month…the Government of Qatar releases 23 prisoners, who will return home to India.
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) June 6, 2016
In July 2015, seven Indian prisoners were freed during the holy month of Ramadan.
Inmates who already served a substantial portion of their sentences were often the ones being given clemency by the Emir. Generally, major and serious crimes such as murder do not receive the benefit of clemency.
Usually, the Embassy officials do not disclose the identities of those who have been pardoned.
India-Qatar prisoner exchange deal
In 2015, India and Qatar had signed an agreement on transfer of sentenced persons, allowing Indian convicts in Qatar to complete their remaining sentence in India and vice versa.
The agreement of prisoner exchange was one among the six agreements signed during Qatar Emir’s visit to India.
Under this agreement, Indian prisoners convicted in Qatar can be brought to India to serve the remaining part of their sentence. Similarly, Qatari Citizens convicted in India can be sent to their home country to serve their sentence.
The deal is of great significance as it would enable the sentenced people to be near their families and would help in their social rehabilitation.
– Neha Joshi / NRICafe.com