Qatar will prosecute Doha airport staff for forced physical examinations of female airline passengers, it was announced Friday. Thirteen women from Australia were forced to undergo an internal examination after exiting a plane last week after a premature baby was found in the plane.
The incident came to light this week through an Australian passenger. There are now thirteen Australian women who have reported to have been examined.
Australia filed a complaint with the authorities in Qatar. Two British women and a French woman were also internally investigated, while a New Zealand woman refused to cooperate with the investigation.
The Qatari government is now speaking in a statement of “illegal actions” and “violations”.
Baby was found in toilet area
The premature baby was found in a toilet room. Women at the airport were then arrested and forced to take off their underwear and undergo an internal examination in an ambulance.
Australian Foreign Minister Marise Payne held a press conference on Monday in which she said the country is taking the matter seriously. The minister speaks of “a disturbing and insulting state of affairs in all respects”.
In Qatar, severe penalties can be imposed if women have a child outside of marriage.