Qatar said it referred officials at its international airport to prosecutors for possible charges after women abroad Qatar Airways flights faced forced invasive examinations after workers found an abandoned baby.
The statement comes as the Australian government has expressed outrage and union workers have threatened not to service Qatar Airways aircraft in Sydney over the Oct. 2 incident.
In a statement, Qatar’s Government Communication Office described the abandoning of the baby as the “attempted murder” of the child.
“The subsequent procedures taken by the authorities at the airport, including examining a number of female passengers, revealed that standard procedures were violated,” the statement said. “Those responsible for these violations and illegal actions have been referred to the Public Prosecution Office.” The statement did not elaborate or identify who had given the order.
In Qatar sex and childbirth outside of marriage are criminalized. Migrant workers in the past have hidden pregnancies and tried to travel abroad to give birth, and others have abandoned their babies anonymously to avoid imprisonment.