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Indian wives want to sell their kidneys to free husbands from prison in the Gulf

A group of Indian women have asked for permission to sell their kidneys to raise money to free their husbands from prison in the Gulf.

The six women from the southern state of Andhra Pradesh are the wives of construction workers convicted in 2005 of the murder of a Nepali guard who had tried to stop them stealing wire from a building site in the UAE. The men, along with four Pakistani labourers, were sentenced to between 10 and 24 years in jail.

Their wives insist their husbands are innocent and that they did not get a fair trial in Dubai. Having apparently been told that under Sharia Law, relatives of a murder victim can agree to drop charges if an adequate sum of "blood money" is paid, the women have been trying to raise 1.5m rupees (£17,000).

"No one helped us when we tried to find out. We do not know how much longer this will continue. So we are offering to sell our kidneys to buy their freedom," one of the women told the Asian News International agency.

Bheem Reddy, vice president for the Migrants Rights Council, said the women had little alternative than to try to sell their organs – something that is illegal in India. He added: "They approached the State Human Rights Commission for permission, but there has been no response so far."