Last Updated: November 17, 2023, 16:49 IST
Yemen’s Supreme Court has rejected the appeal of Indian nurse Nimisha Priya, who was awarded a death sentence for the murder of a Yemeni national.
Priya was found guilty of killing Yemeni national Talal Abdo Mahdi and has been in prison since 2017. She was sentenced to death by a trial court in Yemen in 2018 and her family has been fighting for her release since then.
Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said that the Indian government is aware of the situation and is providing consular support when required. However, the ministry added that it can’t do much in the issue as it is a legal matter.
Who is Nimisha Priya?
Nimisha Priya, a nurse from Palakkad district in Kerala, lived in Yemen with her husband Tony Thomas and their daughter.
Nimisha had been working in private hospitals in Yemen when travel to and from the country was banned in 2016 due to the Civil War. Her husband and daughter returned to India in 2014, but she continued working in Yemen.
In 2014, she came in contact with Talal Abdo Mahdi, who promised to help her in starting her own clinic as a partnership was required under the Yemeni law. She set up a clinic in 2015, with the help of Mahdi.
Soon, differences cropped up between her and Mahdi and she had alleged abuse, torture by him and taking away her passport, making her trip back to her home state impossible. Mahdi also misrepresented himself as her husband to the Yemeni authorities, due to which she couldn’t get any aid from them, as per reports.
Mahdi started threatening Priya and also took away her passport to ensure she doesn’t leave Yemen. Priya filed a police complaint against Mahdi due to which he was arrested in 2016. But after his release, he continued giving troubles to Priya.
On July 25, 2017, she injected Talal with sedatives with the aim of sedating him and taking her passport back and fleeing. However, he died of an overdose.
Realising that Mahdi has died, she disposed of his body, which was cut into pieces in a water tank with the help of another person. Priya was found guilty of murder in 2018 and sent to jail. She was later sentenced to death.
HC Asks Centre to Decide on Priya’s Plea
Priya’s mother and a domestic help from Kerala urged the Delhi High Court to grant permission to visit Yemen and negotiate the “blood money” to save her daughter. The Delhi High Court asked the Centre to take a decision within a week on the request of the mother.
Blood money refers to the compensation paid by an offender or his kin to the family of the victim. The high court had earlier refused to direct the Centre to negotiate the payment of blood money to save the woman, but asked it to pursue the legal remedies against the conviction in Yemen.
The Centre’s lawyer on Thursday said that as per a recent notification, the travel ban may be relaxed and Indian nationals may be allowed to travel to Yemen for specific reasons and durations.