Convicted poachers sent home

December 20, 2010

Authorities in Qatar have sent home 19 Indian fishermen who were initially sentenced to two years’ imprisonment for illegally entering Qatar’s waters, a newspaper report said.

“We had taken up the matter with all the relevant authorities and conveyed our feeling that the punishment was harsh,” Indian ambassador Deepa Gopalan Wadhwa said after a monthly community meeting in Doha, the Gulf Times reported.

The sponsor of the fishermen paid a fine of 2,000 Qatari riyals (Dh2,017) for each of them, after the appeals court waived the prison term. Five other Indian fishermen from Bahrain, also arrested for straying into Qatar’s territory, were released recently, Sanjiv Kohli, embassy minister, said.

“We thank the Qatari authorities for their understanding,” the ambassador, said while explaining that the embassy had taken up this issue with the ministry concerned in India.

Indian embassies in Qatar’s neighbouring countries have been requested to alert fishermen that Doha has very strict regulations regarding intrusion into their territorial waters.

On October, 28 Indian fishermen from Saudi Arabia were sentenced by the lower court for illegally entering Qatar’s waters in August. Anil Nautiyal, the Indian embassy’s second secretary, said that 143 Indians were at the deportation centre, and that 45 Indians were in prison in Qatar.

“We conduct regular visits to these facilities, with personnel from the Indian Community Benevolent Fund (ICBF), and have daily interactions with the officials,” Nautiyal said.



About the author

Born August 3, 1960 in Monastir, Tunisia
Media career:
  • ABC News (Tunisia)
  • Bahrain Tribune
  • Gulf News
  • Bahrain Television News
Teaching career:
  • Monastir (Tunisia)
  • University of Bahrain
  • MA  Mass Communications, University of Leicester
  • BA  in English & US literature and studies, University of Tunis

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