Are there gynecologists from Doha, Qatar

Australia is demanding clarification about the degrading treatment of women at Qatar airport

The women had to undergo a gynecological examination in an ambulance on the tarmac.

Tens of thousands of Australians are waiting to finally be able to fly back to their homeland. There are only a few flights to Australia, which has been sealed off in the fight against the coronavirus. But for 13 Australians who got hold of a Qatar Airlines flight over Doha, the flight home turned into a nightmare.

The women changed planes at the airport in the capital of Qatar on October 2. Flight QR908 was ready to take off for Sydney - due to the Australian Covid-19 restrictions with only 42 passengers on board. But suddenly the whole airport had come to a standstill, reports the German-Australian lawyer Wolfgang Babeck. The passengers waited almost three hours for departure. Then came an announcement: All women should please get off the plane. There was no explanation. 13 Australian women and men from Great Britain, Russia, Turkey, France and Switzerland were on board.

None of the women knew why they should get off the plane. 40-year-old Rachel, who did not want to give her real name, reported on the Australian radio station ABC that several security guards had escorted the women from the plane to an elevator. “When we found out that we were being led away from the plane, we all became very restless. Nobody told us what was going on. A mother who had to leave her sleeping children behind on the plane panicked. "

Heavy penalties for unmarried mothers

The women were taken to part of the tarmac where two ambulances stood. Rachel was escorted to an ambulance and the vehicle locked behind her. “There was a nurse in front of me, wearing a mask and gloves, and telling me I had to take off my clothes and get a gynecological examination. I said 'no, no', but she insisted that I have to be examined. " The nurse called her colleagues for help, who told Rachel that she would not be allowed back on the plane without the exam. Rachel ran to six other women who were standing in a group. "They were all white and scared." They too had to undergo the invasive examination. One of them had learned why the Qatari authorities requested the examination: A premature baby had been discovered in an airport washroom. The authorities were looking for the mother they suspected to be at the airport. Qatar practices a strict form of Islam. Thereafter, women who have unmarried children are severely punished.

When they got back on the plane, some women were completely upset, trembling and crying. The lawyer Babeck was horrified to learn what had happened to them. "In my opinion, the treatment of women is about human rights violations, at least they have been treated inhumane and disrespectful." It is unclear whether the passengers of other aircraft at Doha Airport also had to be examined.

Qatar's government should comment

Most women were too traumatized to talk about it after the forced examination. The incident at Doha airport was reported to the Australian Federal Police, but the public did not find out about it until the women had survived their two-week quarantine period and were able to go home. Australian Foreign Minister Marise Payne said on television that the police were investigating the extremely disturbing and disgusting incident in Doha and had asked the authorities there to inform Australia exactly. The treatment of women is completely unacceptable. They received medical and psychological care during their quarantine after the incident.

There is still no official reaction from Qatar. However, the airport authorities in Doha reported that the baby found was healthy and well cared for. The doctors worried about the mother's condition after the child was found. Therefore, people who were in the airport area in question were asked to help find the woman.