Aus Govt Condemns ‘Unacceptable’ Genital Examinations Of Female Passengers On Syd-Bound Flight

The Australian Government has raised serious concerns with Qatar regarding the “grossly inappropriate” medical examinations reportedly conducted on women before a flight from Doha to Sydney earlier this month.

Seven News reports staff at Hamad International Airport discovered a newborn and premature baby in an airport bathroom on October 2.

In a statement, a Hamad International Airport spokesperson said medical professionals had voiced their concerns over the wellbeing of the baby’s mother, and “requested she be located prior to departing” the airport.

Believing the baby to have been abandoned, staff allegedly sequestered women at the airport for invasive genital examinations.

It’s alleged that thirteen Australian women were removed from a plane bound for Sydney and subjected to the process in an ambulance on the airport tarmac.

The women were reportedly required to remove their underwear during the process, but were not told about the baby beforehand or given a reason for their removal from the plane.

The women returned to the plane, which took off some time later. The Guardian reports the flight was delayed by four hours.

In a statement, Foreign Affairs Minister Marise Payne confirmed the Australian Government has lodged serious concerns with Qatar over the “unacceptable” examinations.

Reports received by the Australian Government suggest the incident was “offensive, grossly inappropriate, and beyond circumstances in which the women could give free and informed consent,” Payne said.

In a further statement provided to the ABC, NSW Police said the women received “medical and psychological support by NSW Health” upon return to Sydney during their mandatory 14-day hotel quarantine.

The airport spokesperson said the baby is yet to be identified, but remains under the care of medical professionals and social workers. The child’s mother has not been located.