About sharing image copyrightReuters image captionAll adult women on the Qatar Airways flight were asked to disembark to be searched, reports said file photo Australia says it has raised "grossly disturbing" reports with Qatar that women were strip-searched and examined before a flight from Doha to Sydney.
The women were checked for s of having recently given birth after a newborn baby was found abandoned in a toilet at Hamad International Airport. The unidentified baby has been cared austrzlia since being found on 2 October.
The searches came to light when Australian women spoke out. Women from other countries were also examined. All adult women on the Qatar Airways flight were required to disembark to be body-searched, two of the women told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation ABC. Thirteen Australian women were taken to an ambulance jn the tarmac and told to remove their underwear before being examined, reports said.
Kim Mills told the Guardian she was among those taken off the flight and led into a dark car park, where three ambulances were waiting to perform medical examinations. However, officials did not subject her to the examination due, she suspected, to her being in her 60s. Even so, she said, the experience was horrifying.
I was terrified they were going to take me away somewhere. Why didn't they explain to us what was going on?
I can't imagine what it was like for those poor young girls. Fellow passenger Wolfgang Babeck told the ABC that he watched as the women re-boarded the flight, noting "many Qatar's government is yet to respond to the incident.
It is not clear if other flights were also involved. When asked by reporters if that constituted sexual assault, Foreign Minister Marise Payne said: "No, I am not suggesting that because I have not seen the detailed report of the events.
Hamad International airport did not provide details of the examinations, or the of women and flights affected. In a statement the airport said: "Medical professionals expressed concern to officials about the health and welfare of a mother who had just given birth and requested she be located prior to departing.
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She added: "This is an extraordinary incident and I have never heard of anything occurring like this in my life. The child is being cared for by medical and social australiz. You may also be interested in: media captionJennifer Talbot was arrested for attempting to smuggle a baby out of the Philippines Related Topics.