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Australian women on Qatar flight internally examined

Bandicoot

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I am getting angrier as the day wears on. What a shame our government could not get on the front foot and show some moral leadership but instead only made comments after the media broke the story.
I'm with you. A month later an invitation to dine with the Ambassador is declined.
 

Bandicoot

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While this incident is 'off the scale' (I have no problem in calibrating it high due to Australians' involvement as opposed to on-going human rights abuses elsewhere ), we have had discussions before on AFF on the topic of the ethics or desirability of visiting countries with bad human rights records and/or using their airlines. I remember it was also brought up when QANTAS went into their Agreement with Emirates, given the openly gay CEO of Qantas and the treatment of gays in the UAE. To me its a real dilemma, as I tend to like visiting "remote" counties which tend to have bad governments (Russia & Iran for example).

Of course it was known by the government early-on. People still had their phones and internet while in quarantine. Why the media wasn't alerted by one of the victims, or their families at that time, I don't understand, not being involved. I don't know much about diplomacy either, but perhaps if our government wanted or hoped for some apology or concession from the Qatari government, the worse thing they could have done is stood up and screamed about it.
Not screaming about it didn't work.
 

Bandicoot

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All good points. But surely other than aviation accidents and 😔 terrorist events, there Is absolutely nothing that these women were involved in, other than sitting on a plane. They weren't even mixing with the general Qatari population, or in off site locations where any kind of risk behaviour (according to ME standards) was on display. They were in transit only and not in that country.
What is the status of people airside? Is there some international law with jurisdiction once past border control?
 

dajop

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What is the status of people airside? Is there some international law with jurisdiction once past border control?

Everything I've read suggests that the laws of the country the airport is located in apply, even airside, with the suggestion that the airside international zone is just a convenience for transit purposes, to reduce the burden associated with transit (in terms of visas, immigration processing etc).
 
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Bandicoot

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Some countries have had for a very long time and still do, ‘a left baby place’. They take the baby to a private place say in the wall of a convent and ring a bell and depart. A few minutes later the baby is picked up. Doesn’t force desperate people into desperate measures. Baby hatch - Wikipedia
It is a crime in Qatar to have sex outside marriage, hence unwed mothers are criminals. My guess is that Qatar wouldn't dream of having a left baby place. The baby was alive, they were out to catch and punish the mother. But not the father. Never the father.
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Everything I've read suggests that the laws of the country the airport is located in apply, even airside, with the suggestion that the airside international zone is just a convenience for transit purposes, to reduce the burden associated with transit (in terms of visas, immigration processing etc).
Thanks. Makes sense. I just wondered if there was something like the laws of the seas.
 

Bell21

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Everything I've read suggests that the laws of the country the airport is located in apply, even airside, with the suggestion that the airside international zone is just a convenience for transit purposes, to reduce the burden associated with transit (in terms of visas, immigration processing etc).
I could well be mistaken but having read this forum and linked articles but it seems to me that whilst the laws of the country do apply airside, it is not quite as clear-cut in terms of consistent application of the laws in that part of the airport - seems a bit more ambiguity exists there
 

Bandicoot

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I could well be mistaken but having read this forum and linked articles but it seems to me that whilst the laws of the country do apply airside, it is not quite as clear-cut in terms of consistent application of the laws in that part of the airport - seems a bit more ambiguity exists there
If I've remembered correctly, when travelling on Eurostar, you "enter" the other destination country past passport control. But that is Eurostar.
 

Bell21

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I have used my QF points on both EK and QR and AA or BA miles on QR when traveling to Turkey over the past few years multiple times. I generally build in along enough layover to take the public transport to the souk (I am married but sometimes travel alone) for some quick shopping. Sometimes I stay overnight to avoid arriving in Istanbul completely exhausted after 16 hours in economy seats. I have never felt unsafe in either country. But I am also a well-experienced traveler and had been to over 180 countries before your daughter was even born. I know how to handle myself and I accept that some aspects of travel hold some risks.

No one can predict the future but after the worldwide outcry over what happened, I think the airports will probably implement a protocol in case something like that ever happens again that will not involve invasive personal searches. I didn't know that DNA testing had advanced enough to give such quick results, only just read this above. I did a DNA test on Ancestry.com for geneology and ethnicity and it took over 2 weeks to get the results. But hopefully airports will now keep rapid tests on hand.

I can imagine discovering the attempted murder of a newborn baby would have caused panic amongst the security guards who discovered her and their first reaction might have been "Crime committed, find the culprit". But they made very bad choices in HOW they went about trying to find the culprit. At the very least, these guards should be sacked for incompetency and all others given proper training. Properly trained guards should not panic even in extreme situations and there should be supervisors on hand to manage investigations and take responsibility for doing these bearing in mind basic human rights.

I am not an expert but I think they should have been more transparent and used observation skills to try to narrow down the culprit. Firstly use the manifests to try to narrow down the suspect list. A lot of passengers could be eliminated based on age, married/traveling with spouse, ethnicity in relation to the baby. Then send people trained in body language observations to board the planes, tell the truth about what happened and observe the reactions of the remaining suspects. The body language and facial expressions could give her away. Then offer choices to the women on how they can exclude themselves from the suspect list (they had not given birth within x hours). Let them choose between examination by a female doctor/nurse, DNA test, blood test or whatever methods worked.

Maybe people who have experience can suggest how the investigation of attempted murder of a baby can be conducted without violating human rights? I am only guessing really, I don't know.
I agree with a lot of what you've said --- as in many things in life, 'how' it was handled and how it should be changed in future are critical --- i.e. what protocols existed for handling this (if any!), did officials deviate, are those protocols appropriate or (very likely) Need modification are all pivotal questions - unfortunately none of above mitigates the trauma the affected women experienced.
 

RooFlyer

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Appalling. Nauseating. It's news to me that Minister Payne talked directly to her counterpart. That is not what I heard on RN yesterday. I'm deeply disappointed but not surprised by our government first concealing the incident, then pretending to hold Qatar to account with public bluster. Once again the human rights of women are sacrificed for geopolitical convenience. It is difficult to not feel that we women don't really matter. Not really. I feel like wrecking the joint. I was never comfortable transitting through the Middle East - for good reason. If I ever again fly internationally it will not be via the Middle East or on a Middle Eastern airline.
Q. Why did it take so long for the invitation to be declined? A. It took that long for the proverbial to hit the public fan. I guess it is better late than never but the delay is galling and speaks volumes about our government's attitudes towards women.

What you have written is simply not true. Its ludicrous and also untrue that the Australian government 'concealed' the incident.

A month later an invitation to dine with the Ambassador is declined.

Wrong again.

In your many posts this morning, you seem to spend more time faulting the Australian government than the Qatari one! Why that is, I can only wonder. And ask yourself, if there were 10 planes where the females were taken off and invasively searched (with the one with majority Australians being discussed here), why can I not find ANY media on ANY other country's reaction (see posts above)? Maybe, just maybe, the Australian government has reacted more than others?

EDIT: I just checked again. BBC, CNN etc etc have still only reported on Australia's reaction to the incident. No-one else seems to have picked up on it. I'm beginning to doubt about what happened on the other 9 planes.

I could well be mistaken but having read this forum and linked articles but it seems to me that whilst the laws of the country do apply airside, it is not quite as clear-cut in terms of consistent application of the laws in that part of the airport - seems a bit more ambiguity exists there

The laws of a country apply airside of the country you are in. Application of laws can be ambiguous either airside or landside; in corrupt countries much more so. Put it this way - if you are airside in Qatar, which laws might apply? Not Australia's.
 
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Bell21

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What you have written is simply not true. Its ludicrous and also untrue that the Australian government 'concealed' the incident.



Wrong again.

In your many posts this morning, you seem to spend more time faulting the Australian government than the Qatari one! Why is that, I wonder? And ask yourself, if there were 10 planes where the females were taken off and invasively searched (with the one with majority Australians being discussed here), why can I not find ANY media on ANY other country's reaction (see posts above)? Maybe, just maybe, the Australian government has reacted more than others?



The laws of a country apply airside of the country you are in. Application of laws can be ambiguous either airside or landside; in corrupt countries much more so. Put it this way - if you are airside in Qatar, which laws might apply? Not Australia's.
My point re ambiguity was that airside appears to have some variables that don't apply landside and police appeared to be commenting that it can therefore be a complex to administer laws airside - that was my interpretation
 

RooFlyer

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Not screaming about it didn't work.

What's your definition of 'working'? Will anything Qatar might do undo what was done? Screaming might make us all feel better but it rarely helps in any situation.

_____________

Just going back to the foreign reporting theme, this is what gets returned when you search on the Washington Post site under 'Qatar'.


1604026162445.png
 

RooFlyer

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At last, I find a report about other foreign nationals being involved. Two from the UK, according to the Guardian UK site, but unclear if on the same flight, or a different one.


The report still is more about the Australian response than any UK one.
 
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MEL_Traveller

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My point re ambiguity was that airside appears to have some variables that don't apply landside and police appeared to be commenting that it can therefore be a complex to administer laws airside - that was my interpretation

Can you point to the source of this? Police or law enforcement working at an airport should be trained on the application of the law, so there shouldn't be cases of ambiguity.

While the laws of the country in which the airport is located apply, there may be some exemptions from certain laws for passengers in transit... for example carrying prescription medications, being able to buy and/or drink alcohol without a licence, eased dress restrictions, etc. But those exemptions will be written into the law that says there is an exemption at the airport.

This case was without precedent. It seems due process was not followed and the report will hopefully shed some light on that.
 

Bell21

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Can you point to the source of this? Police or law enforcement working at an airport should be trained on the application of the law, so there shouldn't be cases of ambiguity.

While the laws of the country in which the airport is located apply, there may be some exemptions from certain laws for passengers in transit... for example carrying prescription medications, being able to buy and/or drink alcohol without a licence, eased dress restrictions, etc. But those exemptions will be written into the law that says there is an exemption at the airport.

This case was without precedent. It seems due process was not followed and the report will hopefully shed some light on that.
Sorry I don't recall the source(s) - it was from one of the links in the above posts - and it's more my interpretation (ie, reading between the lines).

I'm unclear if the case is without precedent (possibly the magnitude of it happening it to 10+ women at once doesn't have precedent, but that's supposition on my part). I'm also not making any assumptions re 'due process' (did they have one and would we be ok with it?) - it would be nice if the official report sheds some light on this!!

I agree that police etc 'should' be trained on the application of the law and I'm no expert in the application of the law airside, but I wouldn't be surprised if 'ambiguity' exists --- as a general principle in large 'organisations', I find that it's not uncommon that processes don't always exist where I might expect them to exist (or maybe not be as robust / complete as they could be).
 

MEL_Traveller

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Sorry I don't recall the source(s) - it was from one of the links in the above posts - and it's more my interpretation (ie, reading between the lines).

There was some discussion early on that laws didn't apply airside because people are allowed to buy and drink alcohol. While that's true, it's not a case of the law 'not applying', it's a case that exemptions are in place, in the law, to allow the purchase and/or consumption of alcohol airside.

According to the initial statement, this is the first case of this type of incident with a newborn being found in these circumstances.
 

prozac

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In "olden times" when you landed in the Middle east and descended the stairs to the hot tarmac, you were usually met by gun toting security. I always assumed this meant you were on their soil, their rules. Now I'd expect the moment you exit the a/c doors into the air-bridge you are on their soil. So is taking someone off a plane for an inspection a transgression of another country's laws, the domicile of the plane?
But then what about the olden days again when an international flight landed in Australia to be met by the Quarantine people who'd board, then walk down the aisles spray cans blazing, who's sovereignty were they infringing if at all.
Just thinking loudly.
 

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