Australian women to sue Qatar over forced invasive examinations at Doha airport

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(CNN) — A bunch of seven Australian girls, a few of whom have been subjected to invasive medical examinations after authorities discovered an deserted child at Doha worldwide airport, are planning on suing the Qatar authorities, their lawyer confirmed Tuesday.
The ladies have been informed to disembark their Qatar Airways aircraft and forced to undergo inspections with out their consent and given no clear rationalization, whereas transiting via Qatar on October 2, 2020.
The search was triggered after airport authorities found a new child child discovered wrapped in a plastic bag and located both in or beside a trash can in a toilet at Hamad Worldwide Airport, the federal government mentioned on the time.

Following the invention of the toddler, greater than 18 girls from 10 totally different flights, together with 13 Australians aboard a Sydney-bound aircraft, have been concerned within the incident.

The ladies have been taken off the aircraft by armed Qatari authorities and subjected to the bodily examinations in ambulances on the airport tarmac, allegedly to find out whether or not they have been the mom of the new child child.

“Two of the youthful girls have been subjected to an extremely invasive gynecological examination. All of the examinations have been non-consensual,” Damian Sturzaker, a lawyer representing the ladies with Sydney-based Marque Attorneys, informed CNN.

One girl had her 5-month-old child along with her and “defined that she could not be the mom of this discovered baby, however they mentioned they needed to study them and compelled her to take off her underwear,” Sturzaker mentioned.

The examinations prompted outrage in Australia and all over the world, with the actions have been likened to sexual assault. Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison denounced the incident as “appalling” and “unacceptable.”

The federal government of Qatar issued a press release on October 28 final yr apologizing for “any misery or infringement on the private freedom of any traveler” because of the incident.

CNN has reached out to the Qatar authorities for touch upon the lawsuit, however didn’t obtain a response to the out of hours request on the time of publishing. CNN has additionally reached out to Qatar Airways for remark.

On the time, Qatar’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of International Affairs Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani, “expressed his deepest sympathies with the ladies impacted by the search on the airport and renewed the State of Qatar’s apology to them.”

Regardless of the outrage over the case and guarantees by Morrison and International Minister Marise Payne for motion, “nothing has been performed,” the lawyer Sturzaker mentioned.

Following the incident, a Qatari prosecutor mentioned an unspecified variety of airport security staff liable for finishing up examinations of feminine passengers have been charged. One officer was given a suspended sentence, according to CNN affiliate 7 Information.

However Sturzaker mentioned there was no publication of outcomes from the investigation, and no communication of adjustments in airport procedures.

The ladies, aged between 30 and late 50, have additionally suffered ongoing psychological well being difficulties from the incident, together with post-traumatic stress dysfunction, anxiousness, a concern of flying and a few have needed to take day off work and search psychological counseling, Sturzaker mentioned.

They need an apology from the Qatari authorities and to have significant dialogue with Qatar authorities so related incidents don’t occur once more, Sturzaker mentioned.

Sturzaker has written a letter to Qatar Airways, the Qatar Civil Aviation Authority, and the Qatar Embassy in Canberra, and included authorized recommendation that mentioned if the incident occurred in Australia, it will quantity to assault, battery, or trespass to the individual, and mentioned the ladies are entitled to compensation.

The ladies are searching for uncapped damages for emotional hurt, lack of earnings, and medical remedy, he mentioned, including a go well with can be filed throughout the subsequent few weeks within the New South Wales Supreme Courtroom in Sydney,” Sturzaker mentioned.

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