Family of Indian Nurse, Nimisha Priya, Who’s On Death Row in Yemen Travels to Seek Pardon

by Gee NY
Nimisha Priya

The family of Nimisha Priya, an Indian nurse facing death row in Yemen, has embarked on a journey to seek a pardon from the relatives of the victim involved in the case.

Nimisha Priya, hailing from Kerala state in India, was convicted of the murder of Talal Abdo Mahdi, a local man, in 2017.

Despite her appeal being rejected by Yemen’s Supreme Judicial Council in November, there remains a possibility of securing a pardon under Sharia law by paying “blood money” to the victim’s family.

Accompanied by Samuel Jones from the Save Nimisha Priya International Action Council, Nimisha’s mother Prema Kumari, husband Tomy Thomas, and 11-year-old daughter Mishal arrived in Yemen’s capital, Sanaa, on Tuesday.

Their objective is to meet Nimisha in Sanaa central jail, where she is being held, and then proceed to negotiate with the victim’s family for clemency.

In a statement to the BBC in December, Prema Kumari expressed her willingness to seek forgiveness from Mahdi’s family, emphasizing her daughter’s role as a mother to a young daughter who needs her presence.

The family’s journey to Yemen had been delayed due to the Indian government’s ban on citizens traveling to the country since 2017.

Despite facing initial rejection from the Ministry of External Affairs, the Delhi High Court permitted Nimisha’s mother and daughter to travel to Sanaa, with a disclaimer that the Indian government would not be held liable for any risks involved.

Navigating through the complexities of Yemen’s civil war, controlled by Houthi rebels in Sanaa, poses additional challenges for Indian citizens, as India does not recognize the Houthi authority.

Nimisha Priya, originally a nurse at a government-run hospital in Sanaa, later ventured into entrepreneurship by establishing her clinic jointly with Mahdi, as per Yemeni law requiring a local partner.

The tragic turn of events ensued with Mahdi’s demise and Nimisha’s subsequent conviction for his murder. She was found guilty of murder after Mahdi’s chopped-up body was discovered in a water tank.

As the family endeavors to secure Nimisha’s pardon, their journey symbolizes a pursuit of justice and mercy amidst the backdrop of legal intricacies and geopolitical tensions.

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