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Australian women lose bid to sue Qatar Airways over invasive search at Doha

Australia’s Federal Court has dismissed a case filed by five women against Qatar Airways over a 2020 forced strip-search incident at Doha International Airport (DOH), deeming it not justified under international airline liability protocols.

On April 10, 2024, Federal Court Justice John Halley rejected the case because the women were searched by members of the Qatar Ministry of Interior (MOI), not airline employees, and not on board a Qatar Airways aircraft.

“The proposition that Qatar Airways was able to exert any relevant control over the officers of the MOI conducting the police operation or the nurse in the ambulance can fairly be characterized as ‘fanciful, trifling, implausible, improbable, tenuous or one that is contradicted by all the available documents or other materials’,” Halley said in the ruling.

Halley also ruled that the women should pay for Qatar Airways’ legal costs, though he indicated that they could amend the claim to seek compensation from the airport operator.

On October 2, 2020, flight QR908 was due to depart from DOH Airport when it was delayed for three hours after a newborn was found abandoned in the terminal bathroom. 

18 women on the flight, including 13 Australian nationals, were called to disembark the aircraft without any explanation. They were then allegedly subjected to an invasive strip search without their consent, sparking widespread reactions across the globe. 

The post Australian women lose bid to sue Qatar Airways over invasive search at Doha appeared first on AeroTime.

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