CAIRO – Qatar said on Friday it had identified those responsible for alleged gynecological tests on passengers on at least 10 flights after finding a newborn in a garbage container at Doha international airport earlier this month, adding that “procedures were violated.”
Qatar’s Communications Office said in a statement that the preliminary investigation of the events showed “the examinations carried out on several passengers” by airport authorities after the discovery of the newborn “indicate that the standard procedures were not respected.”
“Those responsible for these infractions and illegal actions have been referred to the Prosecutor’s Office,” the statement read, without mentioning whether passengers were subjected to gynecological examinations.
Likewise, the government said specialized working groups are identifying “any possible gaps in the procedures and protocols” of the Hamad international airport, in the capital Doha, to “ensure such infractions are avoided in the future.”
“What happened is totally incompatible with the culture and values of Qatar,” the statement read.
On Oct. 2, a newborn baby was found inside a plastic bag hidden in a garbage container at Doha’s Hamad International Airport, something the Qatari government called a “murder attempt.”
Airport authorities rescued the baby, who is safe in a Doha hospital, and “an urgent search was launched to prevent the perpetrators of the horrible crime from escaping.”
Among the affected passengers are women who were traveling to Australia and whose planes were on a layover in Doha.
Australian Foreign Affairs Minister Marise Payne said on Wednesday that Qatar allegedly performed gynecological tests on an unknown number of female passengers on at least 10 flights, after protesting to the Qatari government over the “offensive” treatment of women.
The head of Australian diplomacy said Canberra had complained about the “extremely inappropriate” treatment and is awaiting the outcome of the investigations to weigh the next steps.