A group of women lawyers who underwent a thorough physical examination at Doha’s Hamad International Airport told AFP on Monday that they had demanded compensation from the Qatari authorities, which led to a global outcry.
Late last year, women underwent a thorough physical examination following the discovery of a newborn baby at Hamad International Airport, including 13 Australians on 10 Qatar Airways flights from Doha.
The incident sparked outrage as the Gulf nation prepares to receive thousands of foreign visitors for the 2022 FIFA World Cup, raising concerns about Qatar’s treatment of women.
Sydney-based Damien Storesacker of Mark Lowers said seven female passengers were planning legal action “to send a message to Qatari authorities that you cannot treat women this way.”
He told AFP that since the incident on October 2, 2020, female passengers have “suffered distress, ill effects and trauma as a result of what happened”.
“Women who cross the airport in the future are being asked for an official apology, compensation and protection,” he said.
A preliminary report released by the Qatari government concluded that the investigation was beyond the scope of traditional procedures and that the public prosecution had referred those responsible for these “excessive and illegal procedures”.
In the wake of the potential damage after the incident, Qatar pledged to ensure the “safety and security” of female passengers in the future.
But Storecker said his clients were unaware of any progress in airport procedures and that their attempts to seek mediation had not been successful.
Before hosting the next World Cup, Qatar is struggling to reassure critics that its promises on women’s rights, labor laws and democracy are credible.
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