Women Sue Airport Over Strip Searches


Women Sue Airport Over Strip SearchesAlamy

A group of Australian women are suing authorities in Qatar after being ordered off a flight and ‘subjected to the most horrifically invasive physical exam’.

In what they have described as state sanctioned assault, the women were ordered off a Qatar Airways flight at Doha airport and taken to an ambulance on the tarmac where they were strip searched and examined by nurses.


It’s understood they were being checked as to whether they had given birth after a baby was discovered in a Hamad Airport bin in October 2020.

Qatar Airways (Wikimedia Commons)Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 4.0)

The group say they were given no explanation as to why this was happening to them and did not consent to the examinations, which lasted for about five minutes, before they were taken back on the plane.

In a statement given through her lawyer, one of the women told the BBC News:


I was certain that I was either going to be killed by one of the many men that had a gun, or that my husband on the plane was going to be killed.

After landing back in Australia, several of the women reported the incident to the police, and the case attracted global outrage.

Qatar’s Prime Minister Khalid bin Khalifa bin Abdulaziz Al Thani tweeted an apology at the time:

We regret the unacceptable treatment of the female passengers… What took place does not reflect Qatar’s laws or values.


Qatar later apologised for the incident and one airport official was given a suspended jail sentence. However, the women say their cases have since been ignored.

Damian Sturzaker, a lawyer who represents seven of the women, told BBC News that, despite attempting to engage with Qatari authorities, the group had been ‘met with a wall of silence’.

They are now seeking a formal apology from Qatar and want the airport to change procedures to ensure nothing of this nature ever happens again.


The group of women are seeking damages and have made allegations of assault, battery, trespass and false imprisonment by the Qatari government, Qatar’s Civil Aviation Authority and Qatar Airways.

If you have a story you want to tell, send it to UNILAD via [email protected]

Topics: News, Australia, Now, Qatar


BBC News
  1. BBC News

    Australian women sue over Qatar airport strip-searches

Julia Banim
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