The Qatari government said those responsible for the intimate medical examinations of women at Doha airport did not follow standard procedures and were referred to the prosecution.
Women on 10 flights – including 18 women to Sydney – were searched in early October after a newborn baby was found abandoned in the terminal. The government said Friday that a preliminary investigation found “standard procedures had been violated.”
“Those responsible for these violations and illegal actions have been brought to the prosecution,” the Qatari government said in a statement.
“This incident is the first of its kind to [the airport] which has served tens of millions of passengers without any issues like this before. What happened is totally incompatible with the culture and values of Qatar. Qatar is fully committed to the safety and security of all travelers ”.
The Qatari government said the findings of the final report would be shared once completed “in the very near future.”
On Wednesday, the Qatari government said it regretted “any distress or interference with the personal freedom of any traveler” caused by the decision to conduct intimate medical examinations of women passing through Doha airport, in which he called it “urgent search” To find the mother of an abandoned baby.
The Australian government confirmed this week that 18 women on a flight from Doha to Sydney were subject to the mandatory screening, including 13 Australian nationals. Passengers on 10 flights departing from Doha on the evening of October 2 were affected.
Scott Morrison, the Prime Minister of Australia, said the invasive treatment of women was “unacceptable” and “appalling” and that his government would take a strident approach to seek answers and ensure it never happened again.
The statement released by the Qatari government on Wednesday came three days after the incident became global news. He said the search was triggered by the discovery of a baby in a trash can at Hamad International Airport “concealed in a plastic bag and buried under garbage”.
“The little girl was saved from what appeared to be a shocking and appalling attempt to kill her,” the statement said.
“The infant is now safe under medical care in Doha. It was the first time that an abandoned child had been discovered in such a state at HIA – this blatant and potentially fatal violation of the law triggered an immediate search of parents, including on flights near where the new one – born was found. While the purpose of the urgently decided search was to prevent the perpetrators of this horrific crime from escaping, the State of Qatar regrets any distress or violation of the personal freedoms of any traveler caused by this action.
New Zealand has revealed that one of its citizens was among the women undergoing invasive pelvic examinations at Doha airport, calling the action “totally unacceptable”. Two British women were also among the wanted group of travelers, UK authorities have confirmed.
It is not clear from Friday’s statement whether those who authorized the search, or those who conducted the interrogations, or both, were referred to prosecutors.