News National Video of baby in airport emerges as UK confirms two women involved in Doha search
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Video of baby in airport emerges as UK confirms two women involved in Doha search

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Video purporting to show the rescue of the baby at the centre of the Qatari invasive search scandal has surfaced in Doha media.

It comes as the UK has confirmed two British women were removed from planes at Hamad International Airport during the incident, which also involved Australian and French citizens.

Doha News, a media outlet based in Qatar, has published CCTV purporting to show the moments shortly after the newborn baby was found abandoned in a bin on October 2.

It shows men dressed in what appears to be airport crew or paramedic uniforms swaddling an infant and tending to its welfare.

The report also claims the mother is yet to be identified, and the baby is safe in the care of social workers in Qatar.

The ABC has sought to verify the footage with the Qatari government.

Britain confirms two women involved

The scandal was initially focused on women searched on a single plane bound for Sydney.

Thirteen Australian women, among 18 in total, were removed from the plane and some were invasively searched.

But Australian Foreign Minister Marise Payne revealed on Wednesday that 10 aircraft in total were involved.

A statement provided to the ABC by Britain’s Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office states:

“The UK has confirmed that two British women were taken off the planes in Qatar and says it’s formally expressed concern.”

The ABC has also confirmed French citizens were subject to searches.

Focus on handling

Senator Payne has been interrogated by Labor senator Penny Wong over the incident this week in Senate estimates.

Senator Wong said on Thursday morning Senator Payne should have contacted her Qatari counterpart directly by now.

“I cannot fathom how it is that the government didn’t pick up the phone and express in the strongest possible terms, as soon as we became aware of these events, to the Qatari government that we expected this to be resolved.”

Senator Payne has said the Australian government has formally registered its “serious concern” with Qatar and has described the incident as “grossly inappropriate”.

Were the searches assault?

Law Council of Australia president Pauline Wright said “certainly it breached these people’s human rights” but characterising it as a sexual assault was perhaps inaccurate.

“I’ve got hesitation about whether it could be considered a sexual assault,” she told RN.

“Obviously the place of touching is an intimate part of the body, but again … whether something is a sexual assault will depend on whether there’s an intention for it to be sexual touching under our law.

“All of it will need to be looked at by an expert in international human rights law.”

-ABC