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Australian women on Qatar flight internally examined

dajop

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The challenge is transiting and supporting a country with a completely clean record on human rights and woman's issues. Unfortunately it means picking the lesser evil between say, QR/EK/EY and CX/SQ/MH [Insert airline here]...

And where does a proportion of the fuel ultimately come from that gets the aircraft from A to B, regardless of who you fly? Perhaps it's best to stay at home. Oh hang on, isn't that already the case ....
 

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Matt_01

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From the out set I have not read all the linked reports. From my experience QR is a great airline to travel on and have done so as a single male traveler and travelling with Mrs and MissM.

A few years back (2017) I flew Mrs and MissM SYD-DOH-BOS in a combination of F and J with QR to meet up in BOS. When we caught up in BOS MrsM informed me the flights were good but she would choose not fly QR, 3 years on MrsM still refuses to fly with QR.
 
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jenib

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Why has everyone (Including moi) been happy to turn a blind eye and ignore the Middle East abuse of human rights that has been happening for a very long time.

I think the company (and country) has put a huge amount of effort/$ into convincing people that they are ethical - take a look at their ads and their social media accounts (littered with posts about fighting breast cancer for example).

Personally, I think being open to realisations that things were not what you assumed is a healthy and good thing - just as good if not better than the less than helpful 'I told you so - I always knew' comments.

Look at some of the other things going on around the world. Over the past few years, I have had realisations about at least one other country far away from the ME where I have spent a great deal of tourism dollars and loved visiting. Sadly I don't feel that it is likely I will ever feel comfortable visiting again. Perhaps I am just getting older and more cynical!

Australia is not perfect either - but if people are not open to changing their minds about things/admitting mistakes, nothing will ever change.
 

drron

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Well I am certainly not surprised.We several years ago decided not to fly ME airlines or transit the ME.
There was a well reported case on the Sunshine Coast of a local women who was imprisoned because she was raped.The charge-having sex outside of marriage.

Those who are now outraged I suggest you begin a similiar policy with ME airlines.
 

davidj

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A rather detailed account by Kim Mills:


Mills said she had no time to change out of her pyjamas and slippers. She walked to the door of the plane and presented her passport to two waiting guards, assuming it was a simple check.

“They said: ‘No no, you have to come with us.’ I was absolutely terrified at that stage, I didn’t know what was happening.”

After the women on the Qatar Airways were examined, Mills said, they were brought upstairs and taken to an interview room, where they were asked to provide their flight information. By the time they were allowed back on the plane, Mills said, her legs were shaking.

Mills said the Qatar Airways staff on the flight were “absolutely horrified”.

“[The head steward] said the captain and the pilot don’t even know why we’ve been held and what’s going on.” She said the staff told her: “We knew nothing, they gave us no reason at all why you had to be taken off the plane.”
 
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I am also outraged and this has only increased my resolve never to fly via the ME. BUT in the US their border control can do exactly the same thing to women and men if they "suspect" the person is hiding drugs (or whatever) on their person. There was an issue a few years ago where a Canadian woman was subjected to such a search by border officials for NO reason other than the officer took a dislike to her. Caused a diplomatic incident, lawsuit etc - sorry I can't remember the details. however I'm still willing to travel to the US - not at the moment of course.
 

Pushka

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Well I am certainly not surprised.We several years ago decided not to fly ME airlines or transit the ME.
There was a well reported case on the Sunshine Coast of a local women who was imprisoned because she was raped.The charge-having sex outside of marriage.

Those who are now outraged I suggest you begin a similiar policy with ME airlines.
Likely then I wouldn't fly with any Chinese based airlines, or actually, most airlines. 🤔. Maybe CanadIan airlines.

The story above suggests the Ministers contacted the Qatar Ambassador for an explanation on 6 October.
 

RooFlyer

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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.
 

Pushka

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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,
Because the women were likely still processing what had been done to them. Even embarrassed although it was through nothing they had done. That is the legacy of such crimes. And it was a crime. I don’t usually call the gender card on this forum but I can understand why the women may be embarrassed to tell male friends even their husband about what had happened. Let alone the media. It is only three weeks or so since it happened.
 

davidj

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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.
Yes going public by the govt. could have made diplomatic work harder.

Although if this happened on 2 Oct, why did our FM recently say they have now approached Qatar for a please explain and would have a report back in 1 week? Did the govt only complain once this story hit the media, or did they complain closer to 2 Oct and were told to wait 2-3 weeks to conclude the investigation? Many questions.
 

kelvedon

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According to this article from the BBC the Australian Government was aware of the incident and

" Australian officials had been in touch with the women after they arrived in Sydney and began 14 days of hotel quarantine, a current requirement for all returning travellers.
They have been provided with appropriate support through the health process during that period,"

The explanation from the airport officials infers that not all flights were involved as

"Individuals who had access to the specific area of the airport where the newborn infant was found were asked to assist in the query."


"Medical professionals expressed concern to officials about the health and welfare of a mother who had just given birth and requested she be located prior to departing"

 

drron

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Likely then I wouldn't fly with any Chinese based airlines, or actually, most airlines. 🤔. Maybe CanadIan airlines.

The story above suggests the Ministers contacted the Qatar Ambassador for an explanation on 6 October.
Apart from CX we don't fly Chinese airlines as well.
 

Guvner

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All this (confected??) hysteria completely ignores the reality that females are sexually humiliated (by our standards) daily in countries with a particular religious faith.
So y'all want to ban Qatar now.. but a year ago they were just wonderful ?

This is nothing new.. all this noise because it has just happened to us… nobody cares when it happens to them.
Female subjugation is ok as long as it's not our females ?

Many of us have flown with airlines that inculcate social and sexual mores repugnant to our culture.
We have turned left, enjoyed our shower and in the process.. supported regimes that brutalise humans of both sexes as a matter of course.

I've never turned left or right on a Qatar flight. Have never flown Etihad, and haven't been on an Emirates flight for over 15 years, despite travelling extensively to all corners of the globe. Your apparent assumption that it's OK to dictate to others when, why or how they should feel angered or "outraged", or what they should or shouldn't care about is flawed.
 
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I still don't see why this has not got out before. I'd be very surprised if women reboarding that plane after 'disappearing,' having been taken away by authorities and then returned in an upset state did not tell their partners or friends. How did this not get out! Nothing to do with gender.

I do not and have not flown fly ME or Chinese (except CX), airlines. Favs are QF, SQ, CX, American, Canadian and Japan Airlines.
 

Pushka

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I still don't see why this has not got out before. I'd be very surprised if women reboarding that plane after 'disappearing,' having been taken away by authorities and then returned in an upset state did not tell their partners or friends. How did this not get out! Nothing to do with gender.

I used to work in SA Police Rape and Sexual Assault clinic many years ago. The reaction of people in this sad situation does not surprise me. I’m glad the media didn’t get hold of it earlier because their agenda has nothing to do with the peace of mind of the women caught up in this and they have had a small window to deal with this personally before media spotlight.
 

Seat0B

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This article discusses some of the issues facing local Qatari women as well as foreign workers such as maids etc. As soon as I heard about this incident, as well as being outraged for the women affected, I felt an overwhelming sense of despair for the poor young women who felt she had no better choice than to give birth in an airport toilet and abandon her child. So sad.
 
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Although, to be fair to other non-Australian carriers, Australians have been coming home from Europe for half a century or more via places like Singapore, Hong Kong, Bangkok and Kuala Lumpur, which are by and large not liberal democracies, yet I can’t recall anything remotely like this happening. Yes some drug smugglers have been caught, convicted and executed transiting through some of those. But not aware of innocent women being subjected to this sort of medieval ordeal.

Also, let’s not forget Qantas is not holier than though. Just 3 or 4 years ago, returning from Europe all the way on an Australian carrier meant transiting the Middle East too. And whilst DXB is more liberal than DOH, they also have some pretty draconian laws!
They may not be liberal democracies, but I suspect attitudes towards woman are better. Dr FM and I were horrified at this report. I have been a huge fan of the product and got Dr FM to book Qsuites going to London and she fell in love with the product as well.

we stayed 3 nights in Doha on the way back from New York last year and loved it and the people as well. However this has been a bit of a shock - just outrageous and can only be viewed as assault. I am really happy Dr FM has booked Singapore Air for her return in January.
 

p--and--t

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The treatment (or more correctly the mis-treatment) of women in the middle east on a daily basis is deplorable and the lack of any reluctance to subject them to this process is in hindsight not out of the ballpark.

The outrage of it happening to Australian citizens shows clearly how we are often willing to turn a blind eye when it comes to enjoying our comforts and conveniences while making our trips to and through "interesting" and "exotic" foreign lands.

The actions taking at DOH during this incident have quite rightly shocked and offended.

Not attempting to pass judgement, however, I puzzle as to why there hasn't been similar outrage at Australian citizens being pulled off flights in China and imprisoned for months or years without trial or any evidence being presented. Is that because they were male and not female, or because they were of Asian appearance, or because they had political views that did not align, or perhaps because being held against your will for months and tortured out of the public eye is more acceptable than a few minutes for an internal examination.

Some Aussies will now choose not to fly via DOH, but still fly EK or EY via a state that could quite easily do the same or worse on a transit tomorrow or any day in the past or future. The enslavement of and mistreatment women from foreign lands in the Emirates is well known.

Some Aussies are still keen to fly via HKG thinking it is much better than via the Chinese mainland in some sense of false security given recent law changes that make one as just as vulnerable to unjustified detention as if you had transited through the mainland.

The human psyche and its reactions (including my own which I puzzle about) to circumstances are "interesting" to say the least.
 
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Pushka

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The outrage of it happening to Australian citizens shows clearly how we are often willing to turn a blind eye when it comes to enjoying our comforts and conveniences while making our trips to and through "interesting" and "exoctic" foreign lands.
Or an acceptance that there is nothing that we can personally do about entrenched beliefs and there are too many elephants in the room when it comes to religion.
 

p--and--t

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Or an acceptance that there is nothing that we can personally do about entrenched beliefs and there are too many elephants in the room when it comes to religion.


So if we truly have knowledge of conditions at these locations and accept there's nothing we can do about it and that when you are in another country you too can be subjected to the same conditions, why is there such shock and horror when it happens? Acceptance? Or actually denial?- it won't happen to me.

Human's in general (grammatically incorrect I know but) "think funny".
 

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