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Tuesday, July 27, 2021

Australia presses Qatar for report into airport ‘abandoned baby’ incident

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Qatar’s government had promised to conduct an investigation into the incident which saw more than a dozen Australian women invasively searched during a police hunt for the mother of a newborn baby dumped in one of the airports toilets.

Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade [DFAT] stated on Wednesday that it is still waiting on Qatar to provide it with the findings of an investigation into the horrific incident that occurred at the Hamad International Airport [HIA] last year. 

“We are disappointed that the government of Qatar has so far not provided the Australian government with a report into the incident at Hamad International Airport,” said the DFAT, adding that it has been continuously engaging with Doha for updates.

Shortly after the incident, Qatar issued a public apology to the women whose rights were violated after airport police ordered invasive body examinations as they searched for the mother of an abandoned newborn baby girl. The newborn, who’s mother attempted to kill her by suffocation, was found hidden in a dustbin in one of the restrooms nearby the Doha-to-Australia departure gate.

Read also: Mother of abandoned baby identified

Qatar’s Public Prosecution office said that it was filing charges against the officers who ordered the invasive searches and added that they will face “penalties of a maximum of three years in jail”.

Despite announcing the investigation would three months ago, and assuring Australian officials that its findings would be made public, there has been no update from officials in Doha, nor is it clear if the investigation has been concluded or if it is still ongoing.

Doha News reached out to the Government Communications Office for a comment but has not received a response.

According to The Guardian, the legal proceedings against the airport staff responsible for the search “are under way in Qatar this month”.

The latest official update into the case came back in November last year, when Qatari authorities said that they had identified the parents of the baby, both nationals of an Asian country.

The mother, while leaving Doha, gave birth  and dumped the baby in a trash can in one of the toilets in the departures terminal before boarding a flight, in what the Public Prosecution office also considered a case of attempted murder. 

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