8,437 Indian prisoners are lodged in foreign prisons; UAE has maximum with 1,966
However, due to strong privacy laws prevailing in many countries, the local authorities do not share information on prisoners unless the person concerned consents to the disclosure of such information
NEW DELHI: There are a total of 8,437 Indian prisoners in foreign prisons, including undertrials. The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has the maximum with 1,966 Indian prisoners including undertrials, followed by 1,362 in Saudi Arabia and 1,222 in Nepal.
According to a written reply by the Minister of State, External Affairs, V. Muraleedharan in Rajya Sabha on Thursday: "As per the information available with the Ministry, the number of Indian prisoners, including under trials, in foreign prisons at present is 8,437. However, due to strong privacy laws prevailing in many countries, the local authorities do not share information on prisoners unless the person concerned consents to the disclosure of such information. Even countries that share information do not generally provide detailed information about the foreign nationals imprisoned.
The Minister in the reply informed that India has signed the Agreement on Transfer of Sentenced Persons with 31 countries by virtue of which Indian prisoners lodged in foreign countries can be transferred to India to serve the remainder of their sentence and vice-versa.
31 countries with which India has signed the Agreements on Transfer of Sentenced Persons are Australia, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Bulgaria, Cambodia, Egypt, Estonia, France, Hong Kong, Iran, Israel, Italy, Kazakhstan, Korea, Kuwait, Maldives, Mauritius, Mongolia, Qatar, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Spain, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Turkey, United Arab Emirates (UAE), United Kingdom and Vietnam.
The reply said that India has also signed two multilateral conventions on the transfer of sentenced persons, namely the Inter-American Convention on Serving Criminal Sentences Abroad and the Council of Europe Convention on Transfer of Sentenced Persons, by virtue of which sentenced persons of member States and other countries which have acceded to these conventions can seek transfer to their native countries to serve the remainder of their sentence.