Doha searches.

23 replies

Ourmanin

Singapore Airlines - KrisFlyer

Member since 08 Jun 2018

Total posts 141

Given the view that some have raised recently on this site I’m intrigued to know what, if any, coverage will be given to the story that is a lead on the BBC website in the UK of strip searches of female passengers at Doha. It’s no less relevant than many other topics that have been worthy of articles recently. My own view - if it’s accurate then it is a total disgrace.

tommygun

Delta Air Lines - SkyMiles

Member since 16 Oct 2017

Total posts 144

We don't have the full facts, however Qatar Airways may not be to blame for whatever has occurred. This looks like something ordered by police or other authorities in Doha. If media reports are accurate it is indeed a disgrace, and a salutary reminder that civil rights we enjoy in Australia do not necessarily apply elsewhere.

Ourmanin

Singapore Airlines - KrisFlyer

Member since 08 Jun 2018

Total posts 141

Originally Posted by tommygun

We don't have the full facts, however Qatar Airways may not be to blame for whatever has occurred. This looks like something ordered by police or other authorities in Doha. If media reports are accurate it is indeed a disgrace, and a salutary reminder that civil rights we enjoy in Australia do not necessarily apply elsewhere.

Agree completely. And I deliberately did not blame Qatar Airways.

David

Member since 24 Oct 2010

Total posts 992

Hi Ourmanin.

"Given the view that some have raised recently on this site I'm intrigued to know what, if any, coverage will be given to the story that is a lead on the BBC website in the UK of strip searches of female passengers at Doha. It's no less relevant than many other topics that have been worthy of articles recently."

Indeed, the story you mention isn't just a lead on the BBC website, it's also featured on the websites of the ABC, Fairfax/Nine, News, The Guardian and many other mainstream news outlets. And that's mainly why you won't see it being covered on Executive Traveller: because mainstream news sites with far greater resources than ET are already covering this, and to a depth we couldn't replicate.

As such, there's also no value we can add to the story, and any time we would spend on that story detracts from other content which has a greater 'unique' value to Executive Traveller and is more of what readers come here for.

In the past we've applied the same principles to a range of topics such as aircraft crashes, union disputes with airlines and the Boeing 737 MAX: the more a story receives widespread mainstream coverage and from better-resourced sites than ours, the more we'll consider giving it a pass on ET.

There's always room for exceptions to that, of course, but by and large we play to our strengths, to our target audience, and to what differentiates Executive Traveller from other websites.

Last edited by David at Oct 28, 05.55 PM.
Last editedby David at Oct 28, 2020, 05:56 PM.

tommygun

Delta Air Lines - SkyMiles

Member since 16 Oct 2017

Total posts 144

Reports are that women on 10 other aircraft were subjected to this disgraceful assault. That must be of great concern to all female business, and other, travellers to or through Doha. And, as a blatant disregard for human rights, to male travellers as well. I have decided not to fly via Doha again, perhaps others here are of the same mind?

XWu

Member since 09 May 2020

Total posts 41

I am not victim blaming here (the kind of response when similar queries about sexual assault victims not immediately reporting the crime) but I am more intrigued by the obvious fact that this took place more than 3 weeks ago, potentially involving 10 airplanes, at least “13 Australian women” in just one airplane (so probably a lot more female pax in total), given with the quarantine time of 2 weeks where both male and female pax can interact with people and media by phone or media, and we get to hear about it just 3 days ago?

Is there a media blackout internationally, no one willing to talk about it, or is our news coverage so biased and selective such that until Australians are involved, it doesn't feature as a headline?

Qatar airlines probably had to abide by local authorities instructions (whether its Doha or Sydney or London) and while I understand its state owned, our union trying to embargo Qatar airline services may affect a lot of Australians trying to return home on an airline who had provided regular service nonstop since the pandemic

BTW it will be interesting to know our rights within travel in an ET article.

Say pax on a Australian-flagged airline in a foreign airport like Singapore (or an airspace over the Indian Ocean etc)

Any difference for a panama registered cruise ship in Australian waters etc

Last edited by XWu at Oct 28, 01.25 PM.
Last editedby XWu at Oct 28, 2020, 01:26 PM.

David

Member since 24 Oct 2010

Total posts 992

XWu, I'd not draw the conclusion of there being a media blackout, it could be more that the news simply didn't filter through, although there's also no denying that once Australians are involved a story moves higher up the list in a newsroom.

XWu

Member since 09 May 2020

Total posts 41

The interesting “factoids” so far from ABC sources (even BBC News appears to be relying on Australian sources)

The newborn girl was found on 2 October

At least 13 Aussie adult women 5 women of other nationalities was made to disembark for a search (originally reported as 13 women off QR908)

At least 10 planes were involved

I find it interesting that no other news in other countries had even reported this earlier, unless all 10 planes were going to Australia, and how the news broke even though official complaints were made when the plane arrived 3 weeks ago?


Last editedby XWu at Oct 28, 2020, 02:41 PM.

Austline

Member since 23 Aug 2011

Total posts 42

That's why I fly QF and will fly QF when international returns, no desire to transit in the ME.

kimshep

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 11 Oct 2014

Total posts 342

Originally Posted by XWu

The interesting “factoids” so far from ABC sources (even BBC News appears to be relying on Australian sources)

The newborn girl was found on 2 October

At least 13 Aussie adult women 5 women of other nationalities was made to disembark for a search (originally reported as 13 women off QR908)

At least 10 planes were involved

I find it interesting that no other news in other countries had even reported this earlier, unless all 10 planes were going to Australia, and how the news broke even though official complaints were made when the plane arrived 3 weeks ago?


Last editedby XWu at Oct 28, 2020, 02:41 PM.
XWu - to reply to your post, there are facts that have emerged that perhaps you may not have realised or considered.

- one of the women 'selected' for examination was directly connected to the Dept Of Immigration / Foreign Affairs. She was past the child-bearing age and was not physically examined, but was still corralled. She reported the situation immediately on arrival back into Australia.

- It is true that the incident occurred on 2 October, 2020. The initial formal complaint letter from Marise Payne to the Qatari Government officials was dated 6 October, 2020. It is not unreasonable for the Australian Government to take a few days to investigate the (multiple) claimant's individual experiences and then to formulate the complaint.

- Government to Government communications do not always happen 'instantly'. This incident required the Qatari officials to fully and formally investigate the incident in Doha, establish chains of authority, action and responsibility. Examining the security footage and other related information of a busy international airport does not happen instantly either.

- Each of these issues do not happen within a few days, particularly when the concept(s) of diplomacy, morals, rights and freedom are concerned. Particularly when you have a conservative Muslim and a liberal Western culture and their laws involved. And more than probably, multiple foreign governments lodging formal complaints after Australia.

- It is reported that of the 10 flights, one was the affected flight to Australia (SYD). There were also flights to London and Paris, among others.

- Publicity or not, the Australian Government would not realistically expect an immediate response, until each of the investigative actions had been undertaken.

- There are also issues of privacy to be considered: first, the privacy of the child at the centre of the scandal, secondly the privacy of the multiple women (of varying nationalities and cultures), thirdly, the privacy of the employees and government officials.

I would suggest that the 'delays' in communications channels, so far, have been acceptable. Unfortunately, these days we live in an always connected, always on, media landscape ~ and the 'right to know immediately' has become paramount. Fortunately, that is not always the way in which the real world works.

This is an issue of global significance and responses are being expected by many involved.


patrickk

Qantas

Member since 19 Apr 2012

Total posts 522

Originally Posted by David

Hi Ourmanin.

"Given the view that some have raised recently on this site I'm intrigued to know what, if any, coverage will be given to the story that is a lead on the BBC website in the UK of strip searches of female passengers at Doha. It's no less relevant than many other topics that have been worthy of articles recently."

Indeed, the story you mention isn't just a lead on the BBC website, it's also featured on the websites of the ABC, Fairfax/Nine, News, The Guardian and many other mainstream news outlets. And that's mainly why you won't see it being covered on Executive Traveller: because mainstream news sites with far greater resources than ET are already covering this, and to a depth we couldn't replicate.

As such, there's also no value we can add to the story, and any time we would spend on that story detracts from other content which has a greater 'unique' value to Executive Traveller and is more of what readers come here for.

In the past we've applied the same principles to a range of topics such as aircraft crashes, union disputes with airlines and the Boeing 737 MAX: the more a story receives widespread mainstream coverage and from better-resourced sites than ours, the more we'll consider giving it a pass on ET.

There's always room for exceptions to that, of course, but by and large we play to our strengths, to our target audience, and to what differentiates Executive Traveller from other websites.

Last edited by David at Oct 28, 05.55 PM.
Last editedby David at Oct 28, 2020, 05:56 PM.
David your target audience is Australian business travelers many of whom nowadays are women who transit through Doha as there are few other alternatives so their personal abuse by Doha authorities is or at least should be of interest to executive traveler readers so should be highlighted. I may disagree on your point of other stories having greater unique value especially to women business travelers, and it certainly should be why readers especially women readers come to your website for. Not many other media have commented on the effect on women business travelers and the risks they face travelling through the mid-east with so few alternatives. Forgive me but isn’t exactly your ‘strength’.


abudhabi1

Thai Airways International - Royal Orchid Plus

Member since 15 Jan 2013

Total posts 70

it's disgusting regardless of gender.i will next time i do a trip to europe stick with singapore airlines and their partners via singapore.once via doha was enough for me.the only advantage is depending on where you are going to and are returning from with qatar is no long transit stops as opposed to the via asian options.

patrickk

Qantas

Member since 19 Apr 2012

Total posts 522

Originally Posted by XWu

I am not victim blaming here (the kind of response when similar queries about sexual assault victims not immediately reporting the crime) but I am more intrigued by the obvious fact that this took place more than 3 weeks ago, potentially involving 10 airplanes, at least “13 Australian women” in just one airplane (so probably a lot more female pax in total), given with the quarantine time of 2 weeks where both male and female pax can interact with people and media by phone or media, and we get to hear about it just 3 days ago?

Is there a media blackout internationally, no one willing to talk about it, or is our news coverage so biased and selective such that until Australians are involved, it doesn't feature as a headline?

Qatar airlines probably had to abide by local authorities instructions (whether its Doha or Sydney or London) and while I understand its state owned, our union trying to embargo Qatar airline services may affect a lot of Australians trying to return home on an airline who had provided regular service nonstop since the pandemic

BTW it will be interesting to know our rights within travel in an ET article.

Say pax on a Australian-flagged airline in a foreign airport like Singapore (or an airspace over the Indian Ocean etc)

Any difference for a panama registered cruise ship in Australian waters etc

Last edited by XWu at Oct 28, 01.25 PM.
Last editedby XWu at Oct 28, 2020, 01:26 PM.
XWu the DFAT employee reported it before the plane took off from Doha. It was known but not a news story until involved people came out of quarantine. There are also privacy issues which require delicate negotiations not really possible in a quarantine hotel.

XWu

Member since 09 May 2020

Total posts 41

@kimshep

Thank you for your response.

You will of course note that I used the term “factoids” since I did not assume what we were told or information made available at the time of my post, is revealed in the correct context.

For example originally the info (3 days before my post) was 13 Australian women on one airplane were involved, without reference to other women of non Australian nationalitieson that plane or other planes.

My remark was that I am surprised that the matter was (and can be) kept secret for such a long time, considering the number of women and men involved in the incident (pax, ground staff, security personnel, flight crews etc in multiple jurisdictions), the availability of social media via wifi, the duration between the incident and the reveal (from one country, with that foreign minister will not directly spoken to their counterpart, before other countries became involved).

Granted that unless a similar incident occurred within the 3 weeks since the original event, that there is a very little risk of women pax of being searched/assaulted in that appalling and outrageous manner again, the fact is there were multiple pax, men and women passing through that hub since then (some in their flight to safety in some cases); their rights and safety do not necessarily trump those of those women assaulted on the October 2, but the authorities (and media, I do not believe there were no hints of this incident made available to their representatives) is walking a fine line in waiting 3 weeks to reveal this information available, particularly when they claimed on the 28 Oct that they were still waiting for a formal response from the Qatari counterpart.

I accept that the privacy and sensitivity issues involved may have contributed to the delays in the reveal; in will be interesting to know when if all the women gave their consent to the release of the de-identified information. The duration you suggest as “acceptable” with reference to communication channels, I would consider there are some significant differences in how these are being handled, as compared to the recent incident involving ABC journalists in China for example, where our government made official comments within days (literally hours) after the journalists got home, including the do not travel (to China) notification for all of us (not just journalists), given that their harassment and “interviews” with Chinese security officials happen just 5 days prior.

I concede there are also differences in matters involved but perhaps in the age of more “connectivity” and considering an event involving multiple jurisdictions, it took another 5 days since the DFAT reveal on Sunday 25 Oct (and after AUK and NZ confirmed on 29 Oct their citizens were involved) for the Qatari on 30 Oct to issue an acknowledgement and apology of the event that occurred

I certainly hope that fellow readers will share similar concerns regarding the timeline including the time it took both our government and the Qatari to acknowledge an incident had occurred involving what appeared to be an abandoned newborn in Doha international airport and a intimate search did occur involving women of child bearing age.

Last editedby XWu at Nov 02, 2020, 11:52 AM.

XWu

Member since 09 May 2020

Total posts 41

@ patrickk

I wasn’t doubting the sensitivity of the matter, and it is possible those who were not searched (including all male pax) were not aware that actually happened, and perhaps in the 14 hours flight from Doha to Sydney the crews and pax were asked/told not to reveal an incident had happened via social media and the like, but I am surprised that the multiple jurisdictions involved (including Qataris themselves), that no leak actually occurred for 3 weeks in this day and age, even if people who knew of some aspects of the incident but didn’t know there were women who were examined, and without consent?

Hi Guest, join in the discussion on Doha searches.

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