Baby in Doha incident alive but unidentified

Cheryl Sanders
October 26, 2020

A group of women on a recent Qatar Airways flight received "grossly inappropriate" treatment after an abandoned baby was discovered at Hamad International Airport, according to the Australian Government.

More than a dozen female passengers were subjected to "invasive" and "humiliating" internal exams in Qatar after a newborn infant was found abandoned at the Doha airport, Australian media have reported, in an incident the country's government protested as "offensive" and "grossly inappropriate".

"It is not something that I have ever heard of occurring in my life, in any context".

"We appreciate the concerns and distress expressed to you by the Australian passengers who you have spoken to and will be investigating these matters with relevant authorities and officials", a spokeswoman said.

One man on board the flight, QR908, told Australia's ABC News that numerous women who were taken off the flight for the examination were visibly upset on their return.

The women were provided with medical and psychological support when they arrived back in Sydney, and undertook the mandatory 14-day hotel quarantine Australia requires for Covid-19 border control, a spokesman for New South Wales state Health said.

Australia's government on Monday condemned the October 2 incident, which only came to light after Australian passengers spoke out, and said concerns had been lodged with Qatar.

"When I got in there, and there was a lady with a mask on and then the authorities closed the ambulance behind me and locked it", she said.

"Individuals who had access to a specific area of the airport where the newborn infant was found were asked to assist in the query", the statement added.

'I said "what's wrong, what's going on?" and she told me that they'd found a baby in the bathroom at the airport and they were examining all the women'.

Following this, authorities asked several women to step down and those women returned to the plain after nearly three-four hours.

The statement said "the newborn infant remains unidentified but is safe under the professional care of medical and social workers".

Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade said in a statement, "The Australian government is aware of concerning reports regarding the treatment of female passengers, including Australian citizens, at Doha (Hamad) airport in Qatar".

"It would not be appropriate to comment any further", spokesperson for the AFP said.

"The idea that women could be subject to these very intrusive searches is, in my view, an absolute disgrace", he told reporters.

The incident has triggered an online backlash against the way in which the women were treated after the news broke on Australian television on Sunday, with 7News Agency describing it as a "horrific violation" of women's rights.

Other reports by iNewsToday