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Australian women on Qatar flight internally examined

lonewolf

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Is their main purpose to find the woman responsible and hence charge her for trying to hurt the baby by abandoning in those circumstances or was it they were trying to find the mother incase the baby had health problems and needed assistance from the mother or was it something to do with the laws based on their society /religion?
 

davidj

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was it they were trying to find the mother incase the baby had health problems and needed assistance from the mother

If the Qataris were so concerned about the child's and mother's well-being, a non-consented strip search and invasive internal examination should not have been considered. Something tells me the well-being of both mother and child was the last thing on their mind.
 

davidj

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Regret does not equal apology. But given the source of the quote, it is probably as close as will ever come.
Basically they are saying 'we regret to do this, but we're doing it anyway', and probably would do it all over again.

Makes me wonder, if folks coming back to Australia now need to travel back via DOH (or any transit), what precautions can one take? It's worth having Australian consular assistance phone number handy 'when' they pull this stunt again (both local and Canberra number).
 

lonewolf

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If the Qataris were so concerned about the child's and mother's well-being, a non-consented strip search and invasive internal examination should not have been considered. Something tells me the well-being of both mother and child was the last thing on their mind.

I am not sure they feel the same way about strip searches in their country as we do in ours. Possibly its more common in their country as well as their idea that if theres a crime we can do and will do anything we can to catch the criminal regardless of rights etc. I could be wrong, I havent lived there but it is possible thats why they felt ok doing what they did. If that is the case, then i doubt it will change if the same situation occurred again.
 

Pushka

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I am not sure they feel the same way about strip searches in their country as we do in ours. Possibly its more common in their country as well as their idea that if theres a crime we can do and will do anything we can to catch the criminal regardless of rights etc. I could be wrong, I havent lived there but it is possible thats why they felt ok doing what they did. If that is the case, then i doubt it will change if the same situation occurred again.
But this wasn’t just a strip search.
 

dajop

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SQ, DL, UA, GA, CX, CZ, EK, CI, MF, MU, EY, NZ, KE, JL, VN all flying in to Aus.

Yes, correct, but they all have quotas. So refusing to book QR does narrow the options. Or if already booked on QR, almost certain you won't get anot an alternative carrier.

There was a brief moment (April, May?) whilst various governments around the world got their act together to provide support to their airlines (such as the Dubai royals and the Singapore government), that QR seized the moment and provided the bulk of services to AU, but now they are just one of many servicing the country.
 
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But this wasn’t just a strip search.
Exactly - this is assault.

Anyway I am with the vote with your feet brigade. I don’t believe this had anything to do with the mother’s welfare it was about finding and punishing.

there were many ways this could have been handled without assaulting women.

If the mother had just given birth she would have been bleeding extensively surely? Know I bled like a stuck pig for weeks after all 3 of mine.
 

Guvner

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Yes, correct, but they all have quotas. So refusing to book QR does narrow the options. Or if already booked on QR, almost certain you won't get anot an alternative carrier.

There was a brief moment (April, May?) whilst various governments around the world got their act together to provide support to their airlines (such as the Dubai royals and the Singapore government), that QR seized the moment and provided the bulk of services to AU, but now they are just one of many servicing the country.

I was just responding to the question " Are they the only airline flying passengers into Australia atm?"
 

dajop

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And the first thing should have been to check the cameras,

When you think about it, cameras might not tell you much, given the clothing that many women wear in the Middle East (eg. loose garment and niqab head covering).
 
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Pushka

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When you think about it, cameras might not tell you much, given the clothing that many women wear in the Middle East (eg. loose garment and niqab head covering).
I wonder which women were checked. Every woman in the airport and on departing planes?
 
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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

Equally though, imagine what would have happened to the premature baby if not found in time in the toilets!

In similar situations within Australia - the authorities launch an extensive investigation to try & find the mother always 'saying' it is because the mother may be in need of medical assistance or risk death. Depending on the circumstances of the specific case - sometimes the mother receives pyschiatric care & no charges are filed but in other cases they're prosecuted.

A further complication is that this is during CV - so whilst passengers allowed to transit from all countries they are not allowed to leave the airport necessarily due to risk of carrying CV.

Qatar could have handled it totally differently - no argument. Communication seems to rate between 0 or 1 out of 10 at best.

But how exactly could it have been done better (other than communication)?

A premature baby is found, possibly dying, and numerous planes are about to depart in the next 30 minutes. To put this in perspective - it took over 75 minutes for decisive action to be taken on 9/11 after hijacking was first suspected/detected.

In the Qatar authorities' view (perhaps):
  • their law has been broken & they want to prosecute (quite likely) under their extreme laws.
  • perhaps they were genuinely concerned about the health & welfare of the mother on a flight of potentially up to 14 hours or more - maybe for the woman or maybe for the bad publicity of woman dies on flight - who knows.
  • adopt a 'fast' or 'slow' response with the repercussions accordingly.
  • risk of CV+ passengers being screened
Fast response - use a female doctor/nurse " inspected, and touched, by the female nurse" to conduct the examination - as quote from one of two women in ABC article.

Possible consequences:
  • Limited disruption to departing flights
  • 'Quick' resolution
  • Woman does not die on the flight
  • Provides excuse of 'time pressures' if any blow back
  • 'Seen to be done' to meet the demands certain to be coming from Qatari media
Slow response - offload all adult (>12 yr old) females leave their flights for a much longer period of time (potentially several days).

Possible consequences:
  • Massive disruption to flights with all luggage belonging to the women having to be identified & offloaded, potentially entire flight having to be re-balanced.
  • Woman does not die on the flight.
  • Travelling partners/children also potentially offloaded (now unaccompanied children or male partners demanding to accompany). Raises serious issues of 'unmarried' males partners being against the law....far worse outcome for many women
  • Significantly higher risk of CV contamination as hotel accomodation required at no notice for potentially hundreds complete with security, medical personnel etc etc (not so easy as we have found out - one mistake...).
  • Domestic media backlash & potential demands for death penalty for foreign female from 1st or 2nd world country (no problem with 3rd work females being executed - see numerous 'maids' articles).
  • Likely much greater world media coverage due to 'forced removal, detention & examination'.
BTW - a quick search for DNA testing in Doha seems to show tests are shipped to Europe or the US for processing. I may have missed one offering local processing.

Of course, the incident details released to-date are remarkably lacking in full detail.

So much speculation currently (not just on AFF).

Did all the women reboard the flight to Australia or was one (who may have been travelling alone) detained without the other passengers noticing - that is something that none of the articles appear to have addressed whether deliberately or not.

If that was the case then that could explain why nothing was reported for 3+ weeks. That one complainant is considering launching a 'class action to sue' if all the other women will join her - adds some complications.

Much more information required before this matter will be settled in the Court of Public Opinion although the verdict is already in for perhaps the majority - warranted or not.

A bit like how private security guards (many with next to no preparatory training) were blamed for the Melbourne outbreak and so vilified in the press & social media despite the actual source of the initial contagion being a full-time hotel manager escorting Vic Health Dept staff and others (not security guards) to deal with a room with human waste spread contamination in multiple locations outside of the bathroom. Yet still we hear certain politicians referencing the security guards as the culprits.
 

JohnPhelan

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Is their main purpose to find the woman responsible and hence charge her for trying to hurt the baby by abandoning in those circumstances or was it they were trying to find the mother incase the baby had health problems and needed assistance from the mother or was it something to do with the laws based on their society /religion?

There are two separate issues here:

1. A baby was discovered in a rubbish bin. Whilst being incredibly sad, this is a serious criminal offence - in Qatar, in Australia, in virtually every country in the world. (It's got nothing to do with Islam or, as someone said earlier, "sharia law".) It also leads to major concerns about the mother's welfare, both physical and emotional. Especially if she was then to depart on a 14+ hour flight. So the Qatari authorities needed to deal with this urgently and each aircraft would need to be held until such time as it was determined that the mother was not on that flight.

2. The way the Qatari authorities chose to deal with it was incredibly wrong. As others have said, CCTV may have been helpful in identifying the woman (though if the woman was Muslim, wearing full Islamic dress, that may not have worked). Or some form of blood or other testing may have been the best solution (I'm not a medical practitioner so don't know the specifics of that). The physical examination was NOT the right decision. However I imagine that any of the other "solutions" would have resulted in very lengthy delays to flights. But so be it.

More broadly, several posters have noted that we - as people living in a liberal democracy - only become outraged when such atrocities happen to "people like us". Sadly, that is true. So many travellers love the Middle Eastern airlines because of the luxury and service of those airlines. We choose to turn a blind eye to what goes on in those countries on a daily basis. Until it affects us.

I recall seeing, some years back, an article that detailed the way in which crew were treated by the ME3 at their base, in terms of work and living conditions. It concluded that all of the ME airlines were strict, but that QR was by far the most severe. It's an inconvenient truth that those of us who travel on these airlines are providing tacit support for such tactics. We just don't want to admit it.
 
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Guvner

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The staff choose to work for a company which has a reputation for treating them poorly. The passengers choose to fly with them because of their reputation of how well they treat passengers. Comparing an involuntary and invasive examination of a passenger who has no previous warning, and no means of avoiding the action, to that of employees who are well aware of their employment environment is antithetical .
 
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MEL_Traveller

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How can such a horrible thing even happen in the first place?

1. Heavily pregnant woman is in a secure area of the airport accessible by transit passengers. How did she get past security? I have been through Doha a few times, vaguely remember being frisked by a female security guard. Are women allowed to fly when they are THAT pregnant? If her baby survived, she would have been at least what-7 or 8 months pregnant?
2. How can she give birth alone in an airport toilet without being seen? From what I have seen, it's a messy and painful event, lots of blood. And I think most women upon seeing a woman in labor would immediately run for medical help assuming the woman would need it. I would have run to the nearest help desk and told then to get a doctor to the ladies room fast, a woman is giving birth!
3. Why would a woman choose an airport to anonymously abandon a newborn (if she did this on purpose)? Especially knowing hat airports are full of security? Wouldn't a hospital, a mosque or church have been a better option?
4. The women dragged off the plane, if one of them was the mother, and they were all in transit at the time, how did they get on their departure flight?

From a logical standpoint, this whole thing doesn't even make sense!

Babies can survive as early as 24 weeks. By 30 weeks they are considered to have a relatively good chance of survival.

Not all pregnancies are the same. The mother may not have been obviously showing. Or may have worn clothes to disguise the pregnancy.

If the mother was trying to conceal the pregnancy, she would not have told the airline or sought medical permission to fly.

A hospital, mosque or church would have been out of the question in Qatar... strict penalties would possibly have applied. An airport toilet, with multiple users and no cameras may have seemed like the only option.
 

davidj

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I am not sure they feel the same way about strip searches in their country as we do in ours. Possibly its more common in their country as well as their idea that if theres a crime we can do and will do anything we can to catch the criminal regardless of rights etc.
I hear you. However just because it is a norm certainly doesn't make it right.
 

RAM

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Given the small arrival quotas I am surprised there is this many.
Have a look at the official statistics - very revealing.

Flying into Sydney, after Gladys cut the daily arrivals from 600 (pre-July 4th) to 350/day on some days it is down to 30-34 per flight.


Qatar Airways accounted for as high as 42% of international arrivals once Q unilaterally ceased international flights on June 8th when the Fed Govt underwriting its (& VA's) flights to certain destinations ended.

Latest figures had their share in August at 24.5% & Emirates at 10.6%.
 

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