I’m a big fan of Qatar Airways. Their inflight product is great, their route network opens up a world of possibilities, and they’re a great way to use American AAdvantage miles. Airlines are generally far more liberal and westernized than the countries they serve, and it’s easy to forget sometimes that even this westernizing influence can be overcome by local ways of doing things that shock human rights.
A baby was found abandoned in a restroom in the Doha airport terminal. Someone abandoned the child which is a tragedy. What happened next is shocking. Qatari authorities detained 13 different women prior to departure of Qatar Airways flight QR908 from Doha to Sydney earlier this month in an attempt to find the mother.
Authorities “forced them to remove their underwear for a genital examination in an ambulance on the tarmac.” In addition to these women enroute to Australia “Women from other countries were also detained and subjected to inspections.”
Hama International Airport, Doha
The women then proceeded to travel home to Australia where they completed the required 14 day quarantine. Australian officials have “registered…serious concerns regarding the incident with Qatari authorities.”
Travel to places where human rights aren’t fully respected entails risks. Those risks are on the rise in China for instance. I’ve enjoyed visiting Doha. The Museum of Islamic Art is absolutely worth the stop. But this incident certainly gives pause.