Australian authorities investigated a disturbance report that a group of female passengers in a recent Qatar Airways flight were removed from the plane before takeoff and made an aggressive search after dropping a newborn child into a Qatar airport Was subjected.
According to the Associated Press report, women, including 13 Australians, were forced to undergo medical examinations at Hamad International Airport on 2 October after delays in flying to Sydney. According to The Guardian, the women were ordered to exit the plane and subjected to “strip search” in an ambulance, apparently after a premature baby was found in Doha Airport.
Australian Foreign Minister Marine Payne described the “aggressive” incident as “extremely disturbing” and said it has since been reported to the federal police.
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“This is a grossly disturbing, objectionable, set of events,” Payne said at a Monday press conference. “It’s not something I’ve ever heard in any context in my life. We have clarified our views on the matter to the Qatari authorities. “
Payne said that Australian officials are now waiting for word from the Qatari government before determining the next steps.
As of now, the unnamed child remains under the care of medical and social workers, the Associated Press reports.
Dr. Wolfgang Bebak was among the 34 passengers aboard the 908 flight and said that the carrier instructed all women in the aircraft, to report to the Guardian. He said that most of the women were in shock when he returned.
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“When the women came back, many or perhaps all of them were upset. One of them was in tears, a younger woman, and people could not believe what had happened, ”said Bebek. “They told me that they had to take off their underwear or their clothes from the bottom and then inspect whether they had given birth.”
The passenger alleged that the airline did not provide any explanation for the three-hour delay or explain why the women were ordered to leave the aircraft in the first place. Bebek said the exams were conducted by a woman.
A spokesman for Qatar Airways did not immediately return Fox News’ request for comment.
The Associated Press reports that sex outside marriage is a criminal act in Qatar, such as most of the Middle East. In the past, female migrant workers have concealed pregnancies and tried to travel abroad to give birth, while others have abandoned their children yearly to escape prison.
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The Associated Press contributed to this report.