Nimisha Priya, a 30-year-old Indian nurse living in Yemen, has been sentenced to death for murdering Talal Abdo Mahdi, a Yemeni man who she says has harassed and tortured her for two years. She has appealed for help, saying that the lack of proper legal aid has brought her to this situation. Taking cognisance of her appeal, the Indian Embassy in Djibouti in a tweet on Tuesday night said that they are in touch with Nimisha and her lawyer and that they will provide all legal help to lodge an appeal in the Appeal Court against the death sentence.
“Our officers have been in touch with Nimishapriya and her lawyer. Eventhough our Embassy in Yemen is not functional due to security situation, we will extend all possible help to her to lodge an appeal in the Appeal Court against the death sentence. Let's hope for the best,” the embassy has said in a tweet. The Indian embassy in Yemen has been closed and has been functioning from Djibouti since April 2015 due to the political and security situation in Yemen.
Our officers have been in touch with Nimishapriya and her lawyer. Eventhough our Embassy in Yemen is not functional due to security situation, we will extend all possible help to her to lodge an appeal in the Appeal Court against the death sentence. Let's hope for the best. https://t.co/qLuXdrFkym— India in Djibouti (@indiaindjibouti) August 25, 2020
Speaking to TNM on Tuesday, Nimisha narrated how Talal harassed her over the past few years, even posing as her husband, despite knowing she was already married. In 2015, Nimisha, along with her husband Tomy, decided to start a clinic in Yemen. They were told that they needed the assent of a Yemeni citizen to do so and Nimisha suggested the name of Talal, whose clothes shop she had visited once earlier. However, the owner of the clinic she worked at agreed to invest in the clinic for 33% of the share. She did not seek Talal's help.
Later, her husband, Tomy and their daughter had visited Kerala in 2015 and could not go back to Yemen, as the country was wrought with civil war, due to which they had stopped issuing new visas. This is when Talal started abusing Nimisha.
He started to pose as her husband, thrashed her in the clinic and even took a share of her monthly income. Soon, the abuse increased and he confiscated her passport and forced her to live with him. In an attempt to retrieve her passport, Nimisha, following the suggestion of her friend, sedated Talal with ketamine while he was at her house.
"A few minutes later, he fell on the floor and started to scream out loud. But suddenly, he stopped and laid still. There was no breath and when I checked his pulse, I couldn’t get it,” Nimisha recalls, adding that she did not mean to kill him.
Her friend Hanan came to her help and chopped the body to dispose of it.
Nimisha says she was sentenced to the highest punishment by the apex court as she did not get any legal aid while her case was being considered. Meanwhile, Talal's family asked for bloody money of Rs 70 lakh to relieve her from the charges but she says she has no means to pay the money.
Though the Kerala government and India's Ministry of External Affairs intervened to appoint a lawyer through the Indian Embassy recently, he was not able to travel due to COVID-19 restrictions. Now, the Indian embassy has agreed to help.
Many allege that her best chance to aid her is by raising the blood money rather than the legal recourse.