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New Zealander among female passengers subjected to invasive search by Qatar Airways staff

A New Zealand woman was one of the female passengers subjected to forced examination by staff at Qatar Airways, who were trying to identify who might have given birth to an abandoned newborn baby.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade [MFAT] confirmed this in a statement this afternoon.

It comes as CCTV footage was released showing the moments after a newborn baby was found discarded in a bin at Qatar's Hamad International Airport on October 2.

Qatar's Government Communications Office issued a statement yesterday that authorities discovered the newborn “concealed in a plastic bag and buried under garbage" at the airport.

Qatar apologised today after authorities forcibly examined female passengers from a Qatar Airways flight to Sydney, even as Australia said it was only one of 10 flights subjected to the searches.

This afternoon MFAT issued a statement saying a New Zealand woman was one of the passengers subjected to the ordeal.

Qatar apologises after authorities forcibly examine women passengers on Sydney flight

"We were extremely concerned to learn overnight that a New Zealand national was involved in the appalling incident involving female passengers on several Qatar Airways flights. This action was completely unacceptable.

"We are making our views known to Qatari authorities and are seeking a full report on what occurred.

The New Zealand Embassy in Abu Dhabi is in contact with the New Zealander, the statement said.

Under pressure after Australia condemned the searches, Qatar said it had begun an investigation into the treatment of the women who were taking Qatar Airways Flight 908.

CCTV footage shows moments after newborn found discarded in bin at Qatar airport

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.