DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — Qatar apologized Wednesday after authorities forcibly examined female passengers from a Qatar Airways flight to Australia to try to identify who might have given birth to a newborn baby found abandoned at the airport earlier this month.
Under pressure after Australia condemned the searches, Qatar’s government said it had begun an investigation into the treatment of the women who were taking Qatar Airways Flight 908 to Sydney on Oct. 2.
Qatar offered no immediate explanation of how officials decided to perform invasive vaginal examinations on the women. Human rights activists describe such examinations conducted under duress as equivalent to sexual assault.
The small, energy-rich country on the Arabian Peninsula is a major hub for East-West travel and host nation for the 2022 FIFA World Cup. Hamad International Airport is the main hub for…