Qatar To Charge Those Behind Invasive Airport Searches Of Women
Umer Jamshaid 1 month ago Fri 30th October 2020 | 04:30 PM
Doha, (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 30th Oct, 2020 ) :Qatar said on Friday that those responsible for invasive gynaecological searches of passengers at Doha airport had been referred for prosecution over the "violations" following widespread outrage.
"Those responsible for these violations and illegal actions have been referred to the Public Prosecution Office," the government said in a statement.
"The Prime Minister and Minister of Interior expressed the Government of the State of Qatar's sincerest apology for what some female travelers went through as a result of the measures." The incident has caused diplomatic tensions with three friendly nations -- Australia, Britain and New Zealand -- which intensified when authorities initially declined to apologise, leading to an online backlash against the airline, one of the wealthy Gulf nation's prestige projects.
New Zealand was the latest to raise concerns, saying late Thursday that one of its citizens was among the women subjected to the invasive examinations.
"We were extremely concerned to learn... that a New Zealand national was involved in the appalling incident involving female passengers on several Qatar Airways flights," its foreign ministry said in a statement.
It labelled the action "completely unacceptable".
The incident only came to light this week after affected Australian passengers spoke out.
- 'Appalling' - Australia has since said 13 of its citizens had to endure the "appalling" examinations, Britain said it is providing support for two women, and AFP has learned a French woman was also affected.
Qatar said the baby girl -- who survived -- was wrapped in plastic and left to die in a bathroom rubbish bin, prompting what sources said was a lockdown of Hamad International Airport.
Women were then led from aircraft to ambulances on the tarmac where they were subject to invasive examinations to see if they had recently given birth.
Facing potentially devastating commercial and reputational damage, Qatar has repeatedly vowed to guarantee the future "safety and security" of passengers.
Qatar said on Friday that taskforces were looking at "potential gaps in the procedures and protocols" at the airport.
"What took place is wholly inconsistent with Qatar's culture and values."Qatar's assistant foreign minister Lolwah al-Khater, one of the few female ministers in the Gulf region, tweeted Qatar's apologies "for the disturbing experience".