The government of Qatar on Wednesday apologized for the forced gynecological examinations that several women were subjected to at Doha airport after the discovery of an abandoned newborn baby. The Persian Gulf oil-state government says it regrets the violation of women’s individual freedom and the suffering they have suffered.
“Even if the purpose of these investigations was to prevent the escape of the perpetrators of a terrible crime, the State of Qatar deplores the suffering or violation of the individual freedoms this action may have caused travelers,” said a government site. read in a statement.
The Australian government had filed a complaint with the authorities in Qatar about the humiliation and internal investigation of Australian women at the international airport in the capital, Doha. Australian media reports that a premature baby was found in a washroom. Women at the airport were then arrested and forced to take off their underwear and undergo an internal examination in an ambulance, news site 7 News reports. Australian women speak of a “horrible violation of their rights”.
Marise Payne, the Australian Foreign Minister, said on Wednesday that it has now become clear that female passengers from as many as ten flights have been subject to gynecological examinations. That is more women than was initially thought. In the Australian Parliament, Payne described the state of affairs at Doha airport as “grossly disturbing” and “insulting”.
The investigation on October 2 had to determine whether they had recently given birth to a child. The women were not asked for permission. Nor had they been told about the baby’s find. A flight to Sydney departed with a four-hour delay. It is unclear how many women were involved.
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