Qatar Regrets Distress Caused Searching Female Passengers

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There was a worrying incident on October 2nd at Qatar’s Hamad International Airport (HIA). A newborn baby was found in a trash can, concealed in a plastic bag at the hub. The girl was subsequently rescued and is now safe and receiving medical care in Doha. However, amid the incident, the Qatari government came under scrutiny after reports that a number of female passengers were detained at the airport to undergo searches that were described as invasive. The country has now made a statement about what occurred during its examinations following the infant’s discovery.

Hamad International Qatar Airways
The government of Qatar has spoken about what happened at Hamad International Airport following the finding of an abandoned baby. Photo: Getty Images

Raising alarms

This week, Australia’s foreign minister, Marise Payne, stated that officials “were forcing women to undergo invasive body searches,” while traveling. Altogether, the Australian government expressed its concern at the treatment of some female passengers on their recent trip to the capital of Qatar.

Hamad International Airport
There is international concern regarding how some passengers were treated when traveling through Hamad International Airport in October. Photo: Qatar Airways

Government response

Today, Qatar’s communications office made a statement about the abandoned infant and the surrounding events. The government said that it regrets any distress caused to passengers during its urgent search for those responsible for the tragic crime.

“This was the first instance of an abandoned infant being discovered in such a condition at HIA – this egregious and life-threatening violation of the law triggered an immediate search for the parents, including on flights in the vicinity of where the newborn was found,” the government said on its communications website.

“While the aim of the urgently-decided search was to prevent the perpetrators of the horrible crime from escaping, the State of Qatar regrets any distress or infringement on the personal freedoms of any traveler caused by this action.”

Hamad International
Hamad International Airport has remained a major transit hub for passengers across the globe during the global health crisis. Photo: Getty Images

Additional efforts

The government added in the that Qatar’s prime minister and minister of interior of the state, Sheikh Khalid bin Khalifa bin Abdulaziz Al Thani, has ordered a comprehensive, transparent investigation into the incident to be performed. Subsequently, the results of the investigation will be shared with the country’s international partners. Altogether, the nation expressed that it remains committed to ensuring the safety, security, and comfort of all travelers passing through it.

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Qatar Airways and Hamad International Airport have been busy this year, ramping up safety measures amid the global health crisis. There have been revisions from the airport to the aircraft. Notably, Qatar’s aviation management and staff have taken pride in serving passengers during the challenging climate. Therefore, the country will be keen to investigate the issues following these reports regarding the abandoned infant and subsequent searches.

What are your thoughts about what happened in Qatar this month and the government’s statement? Let us know what you think of the situation in the comment section.

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