The government of Qatar apologized for its treatment of women at Hamad International Airport earlier this month after invasive searches of Australians prompted a public uproar and recriminations from the country’s politicians.
“His Excellency the Prime Minister and Minister of Interior expressed the Government of the State of Qatar’s sincerest apology for what some female travellers went through as a result of the measures,” the Government Communications Office said in a statement Friday.
A preliminary investigation of the incident had found standard procedures were violated. “Those responsible for these violations and illegal actions have been referred to the Public Prosecution Office,” according to the statement.
Australia’s government said earlier this week that women on 10 planes travelling through the airport were subject to invasive, naked inspections after a newborn was found in a garbage bag in a toilet in the airport on Oct. 2. Eighteen travellers on their way to Australia were among the women examined.
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison told reporters that the search methods used were unacceptable but indicated he would wait for the results of an investigation by Qatari authorities before deciding what action to take. The Transport Workers’ Union in the Australian state of New South Wales indicated it was considering refusing to service, clean or refuel Qatar Airways jets in Sydney.
(This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text. Only the headline has been changed.)