Australia Officials could be charged after Qatar airport invasive searches
'Invasive exams' of women after airport finds baby
Thirteen Australians were reportedly among those inspected after a newborn was found in Doha, Qatar.The examinations reportedly happened after staff at Hamad International Airport discovered a prematurely born baby in a bathroom.
Qatar says it has referred officials at its international airport to prosecutors for possible charges after Australian women aboard Qatar Airways flights faced forced vaginal examinations after workers found an abandoned baby.
The Australian government has expressed outrage and union workers have threatened not to service Qatar Airways aircraft in Sydney over the October 2 incident.
Australia represents a crucial route for Qatar Airways, the state-owned long-haul carrier based at Hamad International Airport in Doha.
In a statement released tonight, Qatar's Government Communication Office described the abandoning of the baby as the "attempted murder" of the child.
Qatar: forced gynecological examinations on female passengers after the abandonment of a baby at the airport
© KARIM JAAFAR The halls of the Doha international airport on March 31, 2020 Passengers on flights departing from Qatar have was subjected to forced body examinations in early October after the discovery of a premature baby in the toilet at Doha International Airport, an incident deemed "extremely disturbing" by Australia.
"The subsequent procedures taken by the authorities at the airport, including examining a number of female passengers, revealed that standard procedures were violated," the statement said.
"Those responsible for these violations and illegal actions have been referred to the Public Prosecution Office."
Australia says women on 10 flights searched at Qatar airport
Australia says women on 10 flights searched at Qatar airportSYDNEY/DUBAI (Reuters) - Women on 10 flights underwent invasive searches at Qatar's Hamad Airport and other countries share Australia's strong concerns about the incident that occurred this month，Australian officials said.
The statement did not elaborate or identify who had given the order. It said an investigation by Qatari authorities continued.
The physical examinations of passengers bound for Sydney has triggered outrage in Australia, with the government denouncing the searches as inappropriate and beyond circumstances in which the women could give free and informed consent.
Rights activists say such exams conducted under duress amount to sexual assault.
Qatar apologizes for forced gynecological examinations at airport
The government of Qatar made its mea culpa on Wednesday for the forced gynecological examinations undergone by several women at Doha airport after the discovery of a new born abandoned, saying he regrets the violation of individual freedoms and the distress inflicted on these travelers.
Foreign Minister Marise Payne welcomed the Qatar announcement and apology to the female passengers on the flight, which included 13 Australians.
"The preliminary investigation of Qatar into this incident has shown illegal actions occurred. It is an important step that these offences have been referred to the Public Prosecution Office," she said.
"Australian passengers will be reassured that Qatar has established a specialised task force to review procedures and protocols to ensure there is never a repeat of this incident.
"The statement of the Government of Qatar is consistent with our expectations for contrition, accountability and determination to avoid any repeat of this disturbing episode.
"I look forward to continued cooperation with Qatar as we seek to resolve this incident, and seek updates on progress made by the Public Prosecution Office."
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Ms Payne said diplomats were working towards "a genuine and meaningful resolution in response to this disturbing event".
"We acknowledge this was a difficult and distressing incident for those women involved. We respect their privacy and will endeavour to provide any support they may need."
Apology and promise
As the reports came to light this week, the government of Qatar apologised and promised a full investigation to be shared internationally.
It earlier called the discovery of the newborn buried in a plastic bag under trash "an egregious and life-threatening" act.
In Qatar, like much of the Middle East, sex and childbirth outside of marriage are criminalised.
Migrant workers in the past have hidden pregnancies and tried to travel abroad to give birth, and others have abandoned their babies anonymously to avoid imprisonment.
The revelation that women on a total of 10 flights in Doha earlier this month were subjected to invasive vaginal exams has spiralled into a public relations catastrophe for Qatar, a tiny oil-rich state on the Arabian Peninsula and host nation for the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
UK welcomes Qatari action on invasive searches of women .
Britain's foreign ministry said on Saturday it welcomed Qatar's announcement that it would charge those behind "illegal" gynaecological searches performed on female travellers at the Gulf state's main airport. "The preliminary investigation has shown that illegal actions took place, and it is an important step that those responsible have been referred to the public prosecutor's office," a spokesman for Britain's Foreign, Commonwealth andWomen on 10 flights out of Doha, including two British women, were subject to the examinations as authorities searched for the mother of a newborn child abandoned in an airport bathroom on October 2.