Qatar to charge those behind invasive airport searches of women

4 mins read

(AFP) – Qatar stated on Friday that those chargeable for invasive gynaecological searches of passengers at Doha airport had been referred for prosecution over the “violations” following widespread outrage.

Women on 10 Qatar Airways flights out of Doha have been topic to the examinations as authorities looked for the mom of a new child child discovered deserted in an airport toilet on October 2.

“Those responsible for these violations and illegal actions have been referred to the Public Prosecution Office,” the federal government stated in a press release.

“The Prime Minister and Minister of Interior expressed the Government of the State of Qatar‘s sincerest apology for what some female travelers went through as a result of the measures.”

The incident has brought on diplomatic tensions with three pleasant nations — Australia, Britain and New Zealand — which intensified when authorities initially declined to apologise, main to a web-based backlash in opposition to the airline, one of the rich Gulf nation’s status initiatives.

New Zealand was the newest to elevate issues, saying late Thursday that one of its residents was among the many women subjected to the invasive examinations.

“We were extremely concerned to learn… that a New Zealand national was involved in the appalling incident involving female passengers on several Qatar Airways flights,” its international ministry stated in a press release.

It labelled the motion “completely unacceptable”.

The incident solely got here to mild this week after affected Australian passengers spoke out.


Australia has since stated 13 of its residents had to endure the “appalling” examinations, Britain stated it’s offering help for 2 women, and AFP has discovered a French lady was additionally affected.

Qatar stated the newborn woman — who survived — was wrapped in plastic and left to die in a toilet garbage bin, prompting what sources stated was a lockdown of Hamad International Airport.

Women have been then led from plane to ambulances on the tarmac the place they have been topic to invasive examinations to see if that they had lately given delivery.

Wolfgang Babeck, a passenger on one of the affected flights, a Qatar Airways service to Sydney, stated the women who have been subjected to the searches have been “shell-shocked” after their ordeals.

Qatar is an ultra-conservative Muslim monarchy, the place intercourse and childbirth outdoors of marriage are punishable by jail.

Ahead of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, it has struggled to reassure critics that its guarantees on women’s rights, labour relations and democracy are credible.

Facing doubtlessly devastating industrial and reputational harm, Qatar has repeatedly vowed to assure the long run “safety and security” of passengers.

Australia’s criticism of Qatar had grown more and more strident within the absence of an unequivocal apology from Doha within the days after the scandal emerged.

Qatar stated on Friday that taskforces have been taking a look at “potential gaps in the procedures and protocols” on the airport.

“This incident is the first of its kind at Hamad International Airport, which has served tens of millions of passengers without any issues like this before,” the Qatari assertion stated.

“What took place is wholly inconsistent with Qatar‘s culture and values.”

Qatar‘s assistant international minister Lolwah al-Khater, one of the few feminine ministers within the Gulf area, tweeted Qatar‘s apologies “for the disturbing experience”.


Charlene is a Bay Area journalist who hails from the small community of Fresno. Drawing from her experience writing for her college paper, Charlene continues to advocate for free press and local journalism. She also volunteers in all the beach cleanups she can because she loves the water.