Australian women to sue Qatar Airways after forced vaginal exams

Sydney, Australia, Nov 15 (EFE).- A group of Australian women will file a joint lawsuit against Qatar Airways for allegedly forcing them to strip for invasive genital exams at Qatar airport last year.

The airline removed some female passengers from their Australia-bound Qatar Airways flight after authorities discovered a premature baby abandoned in a toilet at Hamad International Airport of Doha.

The women, including at least 13 Australian residents and citizens, were allegedly forced to remove their undergarments and undergo gynecological examinations without their consent and without being informed that the airport authorities had found a newborn in a toilet.

The lawsuit denounces the humiliating treatment.

The alleged victims will file the lawsuit in the Supreme Court of New South Wales against the airline, Qatar civil aviation, and airport authorities in the coming weeks.

“We are going to argue that the women were falsely imprisoned. They were assaulted and there were psychological damages,” lawyer Damian Sturzaker from law firm Marque Lawyers told EFE.

Australian Foreign Minister Marise Payne had described the Doha airport incident as a “grossly disturbing” and “concerning” set of events.

Payne said the Australian government had “dealt directly with the Qatari authorities” about the women being invasively searched without their consent.

Sturzaker said the lawsuit against the airline would be filed under the Montreal International Convention that recognizes air carrier liability and guarantees compensation for problems in the movement of passengers and cargo.

The lawyer stressed the importance of protecting Australian women in Qatar that would host the FIFA World Cup in 2022.

The plaintiffs have noted that they were concerned that the authorities had taken no action against the perpetrators that would have prevented a similar incident from happening again. EFE


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