CNN subsidiary Seven News reports that there were women at the airport, including 13 Australians “Allegedly removed from flights, arrested and forced to undergo an inspection in an ambulance on the tarmac.”
“The treatment of the women concerned has reportedly been abusive, grossly inappropriate and beyond the circumstances in which the women could give free and informed consent,” a government spokesman told CNN.
The flight, Qatar Airways flight QR 908 to Sydney, landed on October 2 for a transit stop in Doha, Qatar, CNN subsidiary Nine News reported.
Hamad International Airport confirmed that an abandoned newborn baby was found at the airport on October 2, adding that medical professionals were “concerned about the health and well-being of a mother who had just given birth and asked to see her before departure (the airport) is located. “”
“People who had access to the specific area of the airport where the newborn was found have been asked to assist with the interrogation,” the airport said in a statement to CNN.
Airport authorities are still looking for the mother, but the newborn is “safe under the professional care of medical and social workers”.
Wolfgang Babeck, a passenger on the plane, told CNN that there was “a very tense atmosphere” on the flight as the women returned from the tarmac.
“A woman was crying,” he said. “The others were shocked, nobody could believe what had happened. It was such a private and sensitive topic. You don’t want to share that with people.”
He said the women left the aircraft “in good faith and followed the instructions of the crew”.
Australian Foreign Minister Marisa Payne said Monday it was “nothing that I have ever heard of in any context in my life”.
“This is a gross, grossly worrying, insulting matter related to a number of events … We have made our views very clear to the Qatari authorities on this matter,” she said at a press conference in Canberra.
Payne added that a report had been submitted to the Australian Federal Police (AFP).
In a response to CNN, AFP said it was aware of the matter and was working with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
“It would not be appropriate to make further comments,” said the AFP spokesman.
CNN’s Angus Watson contributed to this report.