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Jeddah - Yasmine El Tohamy - UK welcomes Qatar’s apology over ‘invasive’ women examination incident at Doha airport
LONDON: Britain has welcomed an apology from Qatar after it was revealed that two British women underwent invasive medical examinations in the country’s airport.
The UK said it also welcomed the steps Qatar has taken to ensure a similar incident would not be repeated, according to Al-Arabiya.
The news comes after two British women revealed they were subjected to “intimate” examinations while flying through Qatar on October 2.
British authorities confirmed on Thursday that the two women were among others who went through invasive medical examinations on 10 flights flying out of Doha.
Officials at the Hamad International Airport said they were searching for the mother of a newborn baby found abandoned inside a bathroom.
Qatar's Government Communications Office previously said in a statement that it launched an investigation into the incident.
“The subsequent procedures taken by the authorities at the airport, including examining a number of female passengers, revealed that standard procedures were violated.”
“Those responsible for these violations and illegal actions have been referred to the Public Prosecution Office.”
A spokesman for Britain's Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office said: "This was a deeply distressing incident for the women involved, and it is important we continue to respect their privacy," the spokesman added, noting that Britain's Middle East Minister James Cleverly had spoken to his Qatari opposite number about the issue.
The incident only came to light in the last week after affected Australian passengers spoke out.
Australia has since said 13 of its citizens had to endure the "appalling" examinations, while Britain said it is providing support for two women.
New Zealand has also revealed that one of its citizens was among the women subjected to the examinations, and AFP has learned a French woman was also affected.
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