After a newborn infant was found abandoned at the Doha airport, more than a dozen women were subjected to humiliating and invasive internal exams in Qatar. The Australian media reported that its government had protested the inappropriate and offensive move. Qatar’s government is yet to respond to the October 2 event.
The criticism came on Sunday when the Australian news channel reported that women at the Hamad International Airport in Qatar’s capital, including 13 women from Australia, were removed from a flight from Doha to Sydney and were strip-searched.
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However, the boy found at the airport is still unidentified. In a statement issued on Sunday, the airport authorities said that they found the newborn baby at the terminal, and health officials expressed their concerns about the welfare of the woman and requested the security team to locate her before departure.
It further added that the people who had access to the area where the baby was located were asked to cooperate in the inquiry. The statement said that the child is safe and urged people with knowledge or information about the child’s parent to come forward.
But the Australian government protested and said that the treatment of the women at the airport was far beyond circumstances in which they could give informed and free consent. Though when asked by the news reporters that if it was constituted as sexual assault, Marise Payne, the Foreign Minister of Australia, said, “No, I am not suggesting that because I have not seen the detailed report of the events.”
Australia said that it formally registered a complaint with the Qatari officials and that they will decide their next move after receiving a formal reply from the Qatari government. Payne said that the officials have been in constant contact with the women since they arrived in Sydney.
She further added that the woman had been provided with all the support through the mental health process during the time. While the infant child is being cared for by social and health workers, the Doha airport authorities are seeking information about the mother.
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