I welcome the Government of Qatar’s acknowledgement of the offensive mistreatment of female passengers at Doha (Hamad) International Airport prior to the departure of a Sydney-bound flight on 2 October 2020.
I also welcome the apology on behalf of the State of Qatar to the female passengers on this flight, including 13 Australians, by His Excellency the Prime Minister and Minister of the Interior, Sheikh Khalid bin Khalifa bin Abdulaziz Al Thani.
The preliminary investigation of Qatar into this incident has shown illegal actions occurred. It is an important step that these offences have been referred to the Public Prosecution Office.
Australian passengers will be reassured that Qatar has established a specialised task force to review procedures and protocols to ensure there is never a repeat of this incident.
The statement of the Government of Qatar is consistent with our expectations for contrition, accountability and determination to avoid any repeat of this disturbing episode.
I look forward to continued cooperation with Qatar as we seek to resolve this incident, and seek updates on progress made by the Public Prosecution Office.
I also extend my thanks to Australia’s Ambassador in Doha, His Excellency Jonathan Muir, and Qatar’s Ambassador in Canberra, His Excellency Saad Al Shareef, for their professional and diligent diplomacy in seeking a genuine and meaningful resolution in response to this disturbing event.
We acknowledge this was a difficult and distressing incident for those women involved. We respect their privacy and will endeavour to provide any support they may need.