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Woman Allowed To Make “Blood Money” Deal To Save Daughter On Death Row In Yemen

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December 13, 2023

The Delhi High Court has allowed the mother of a Kerala nurse who is on death row in Yemen for murder to travel to the West Asian nation and attempt to secure her daughter’s release. In a decision on Tuesday, the court allowed the mother to travel to Yemen in an attempt to broker a “blood money” arrangement in order to save her daughter Nimisha Priya.

The victim’s family decided on “blood money” as payment to ensure her release through direct negotiations in compliance with Yemen’s Shariah law. But her mother’s trip to Yemen is crucial for this negotiation.

However, the Center implemented a travel ban in 2017, making it impossible for Indian nationals to travel to Yemen without official government authorization. The Delhi High Court ordered the Center to lift its notice and permit Nimisha’s mother, Prema Kumari, to visit Yemen.

The high court acknowledged the Center’s argument that, given the current circumstances, no international treaty is applicable in Yemen and that India has severed diplomatic ties with the country by closing its embassy there.

The mother has been asked by the court to provide an affidavit in which she declares that she will travel at her own risk and expense, with no obligation to reimburse the Indian government.

Nimisha Priya has been incarcerated since 2018 after being found guilty of the murder of a Yemeni national. She tried to get her passport back from Talal Abdo Mahdi by giving him sedative injections.

In 2018, a Yemeni trial court sentenced her to death, and her family has been fighting for her release ever since. The only thing that can save her from the Yemini Supreme Court’s rejection of her appeal is a “blood money” arrangement between the families.