Female passengers of Qatar Airways have been subjected to invasive physical tests in Qatar on October 2, reports said.
The incident happened after a newborn baby was found abandoned inside the airport terminal.
According to Al Jazeera, Qatar authorities subjected 18 women to the physical test.
Moreover, 13 of those women are Australian citizens.
Reports did not specify the nationalities of other women subjected to the horrendous act.
According to reports, the airport recalled the women from a flight to Sydney.
After that, they forced them to strip searches and underwent invasive inspections.
Australia’s foreign minister, Maris Payne calls the incident “offensive” and “grossly disturbing” on Wednesday during a Senate hearing.
According to her, authorities took the women from 10 aircraft.
Human Rights activists condemn the tests as equivalent to se*ual assault.
The Transport Worker’s Union of New South Wales (TWY NSW) accuses Qatar Airways of attacking “the human rights of” its Australian female airline passengers.”
Moreover, according to the TWY NSW, the women did not consent and had “no guidance” on what was happening.
Professor David Kinley, Human Rights chair at Sydney University, said that Australia, on behalf of the women, can file a complaint against Qatar under the international human rights law, per the Guardian.
The country is a signatory to different UN human rights Conventions and Covenants.
Furthermore, Qatar’s Prime Minister has already ordered a “comprehensive” and “transparent” investigation into the matter.
Qatar Apologized for Its Actions
On Wednesday, the Qatar government apologized for its actions, News Sky reported.
According to its government, the “state of Qatar regrets any distress or infringement” of passengers’ personal freedom because of the testing.
In their apology, the Qatar government also explained its authorities found a newborn inside a plastic bag buried under the garbage inside the airport.
The discovery prompted its officials to search for its parents, including passengers of the flights near the vicinity.
However, the government did not explain how its officials came up with the decision of testing the women.
In Qatar, it is illegal to give birth out of wedlock.