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Qatar to prosecute those behind invasive searches of women at airport

Women on 10 flights out of Doha were examined as authorities searched for the mother of an abandoned baby
The incident only came to light this week after affected Australian passengers spoke out
The incident only came to light this week after affected Australian passengers spoke out (AFP)

Qatar said on Friday that those responsible for the invasive gynaecological searches of women passengers at Doha airport following the abandonment of a newborn baby had been referred for prosecution over the "violations".

Women on 10 flights out of Doha were subjected to the examinations as authorities searched for the mother of a baby found in an airport bathroom on 2 October.

In a statement sent to Middle East Eye, Qatar's Government Communications Office said: "Those responsible for these violations and illegal actions have been referred to the Public Prosecution Office.

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"The Prime Minister and Minister of Interior expressed the Government of the State of Qatar's sincerest apology for what some female travelers went through as a result of the measures."

New Zealand said late on Thursday that one of its citizens was among the women subjected to the invasive examinations, labelling the action "completely unacceptable".

The incident only came to light this week after affected Australian passengers spoke out.

Australia has since said 13 of its citizens had to endure the "appalling" examinations, Britain said it was providing support for two women, and AFP has learned a French woman was also affected.

In its statement on Friday, Qatar said: "What took place is wholly inconsistent with Qatar’s culture and values."