Authorities in Qatar say they have identified a woman who allegedly dumped her newborn baby in a bathroom bin at Doha Airport, which sparked the "disturbing" strip search of Australian travellers.

Prosecutors said the woman was an "Asian national" and "convict" who allegedly left Qatar after her newborn baby was found at the airport last month.

She has been charged with attempted murder, however authorities are still in the process of arresting her, according to the ABC.

The newborn girl was found alive and taken into medical care in Doha, authorities said.

Police said DNA testing had also identified the child's father but he has not been charged.

The mother allegedly texted him to say she was abandoning the baby before she left the country.

Sex and childbirth outside marriage is illegal in Qatar, as in much of the Middle East.

The discovery of the child at Doha's Hamad International Airport on October 2 sparked an international incident as at least 18 female travellers, including 13 Australians, were subjected to invasive physical examinations in the desperate search for her mother.

 

Footage from the airport shows the moment the child was recovered from the bathroom. Picture: Doha News Exclusive
Footage from the airport shows the moment the child was recovered from the bathroom. Picture: Doha News Exclusive

 

Australian women told of their fear as they were pulled off flights and rounded up for the invasive checks.

Foreign Affairs Minister Marise Payne described the incident as "grossly disturbing" and demanded answers from Qatari authorities.

"This is a grossly, grossly disturbing, offensive, concerning set of events," she said last month.

"It is not something I have ever heard of occurring in my life, in any context, (and) we have made our views very clear to the Qatari authorities on this matter."

The Qatar Government has said officials at the airport who ordered the physical checks of female travellers had been charged and are facing up to three years in jail.

 

The newborn girl was taken into the care of medical workers. Picture: Doha News Exclusive
The newborn girl was taken into the care of medical workers. Picture: Doha News Exclusive

 

One of the Australian women strip searched at Doha airport told 60 Minutes on Sunday she had been left traumatised by the experience.

The woman, identified as Jane, told the program she and her husband were on a Qatar Airways plane due to depart for Sydney when the group of women - 13 who were Australian - were told to get their passports and get off the flight.

She said she was led into an ambulance surrounded by armed men and a female doctor told her, "We need to test you".

"She goes, 'We need to remove your underwear.' And I said, 'I don't feel comfortable with removing my underwear.' And I was physically holding them up. And she's like, 'No, they need to come down," Jane said.

'They had thin blinds. I could see out and I remember thinking, 'Can all of those men out there see in?'

"I remember laying there thinking, 'This isn't right. This is not how this should be happening. This isn't how this should be done'."

After two to three minutes inside the ambulance, Jane was taken back to the plane "shaking".

"I was shaking at that point. I just explained what had happened and we just sat there and we were just in shock. I remember thinking, 'I can't believe that's actually just happened to me,'" she said.

More to come

Originally published as Mum charged for dumping baby in bin


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