A horrific story is emerging from a Sydney-bound Qatar Airways flight, in which multiple Australian women were dragged off and subjected to invasive medical examinations following the discovery of a baby in an airport bathroom.
The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade has expressed its “serious concerns” with Qatari authorities after the shocking incident, which has been blasted by one senator as “totally outrageous”.
The QR 908 flight was en route to Sydney earlier this month when it landed for a transit stop at the Hamad International Airport in Doha in Qatar.
A premature baby was found alive and abandoned in a bathroom at the terminal.
7 News reported that women at the airport, including 13 Australians, were pulled off flights and forced to undergo “invasive” medical examinations in that time.
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Qatari authorities forced the women to remove their underwear in an ambulance on the airport tarmac.
The women then had their genitalia “invasively examined” without their consent and without being told the reason why.
An airport spokesman told 7News that the child is being cared for by medical and social workers.
Labor Senator Malarndirri McCarthy said the incident was “totally outrageous”.
“It is a complete abrogation of responsibility and personal privacy,” she told the Today show this morning. “These women did not deserve to be going through this.
“I certainly know that Labor is very supportive. It’s behind the Australian Government. Expressing the highest level our complete and utter outrage at this obscene handling of any woman to be able to go through this invasion of privacy.
“Naturally, it’s an incredibly tragic situation when any person loses a child. But to then just drag every single woman that you can possibly see and say OK we’ll do this to you and they don’t know what is going on.
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“All of that is just outrageous. I certainly wound want it to happen to me. I’m sure you wouldn’t want it to happen to you wouldn’t want it to happen to you. No woman anywhere would want this to happen without their express permission at all.”
The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade has “serious concerns” with Qatari authorities over the incident.
“The Australian Government is aware of concerning reports regarding the treatment of female passengers, including Australian citizens, at Doha (Hamad) airport in Qatar,” a spokesman said.
“We have formally registered our serious concerns regarding the incident with Qatari authorities and have been assured that detailed and transparent information on the event will be provided soon.”