Release of Nimisha Priya: Centre gives nod to transfer pre-negotiation fund through Embassy account

Nimisha Priya. File photo: Manorama

Kochi: In a significant development, the Centre has granted permission for the Indian Embassy in Yemen to transfer the pre-negotiation funds through its bank account to its lawyer in Yemen for initiating discussions on the release of Nimisha Priya, a Palakkad native who was sentenced to death for the murder of Yemeni national Tala Abdo Mahdi in 2017. A nurse, Nimisha was apprehended while attempting to flee the country and was sentenced to death in 2018.

The Save Nimisha Priya International Action Council needs to raise approximately $40,000 (around Rs 33.40 lakh) to begin negotiations with the family of the victim and their tribal leaders. Once the funds are collected, they will be transferred through the Ministry of External Affairs to the Indian Embassy in Sanaa.

The central government's decision follows a request by Prema Kumari, Nimisha Priya’s mother, who is presently in Yemen for the release mission. Prema Kumari travelled to Yemen on April 24 to initiate the process of securing a waiver of the death penalty and to negotiate the blood money amount with the deceased's family.

The action council, meanwhile, is working urgently to raise the necessary funds. According to Samuel Jerome, a human rights activist coordinating with the Action Council, they have three weeks to one month to secure Nimisha Priya’s release. The execution order for her death sentence is currently with the President of Yemen. Once signed, the order will be sent to the Chief Prosecutor's office, after which there will be no further delays in carrying out the sentence.

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