Airport strip-search scandal worsens


Eighteen women on a Qatar flight from Doha to Sydney were subjected to "grossly disturbing" physical examinations.

Foreign Affairs Minister Marise Payne gave the updated figure during a Senate estimates hearing on Wednesday.

Senator Payne also revealed that passengers on 10 aircraft in Doha that day were subjected to the search, after a premature baby was found in a bathroom at the airport.

A Department of Foreign Affairs official, who was among women affected but not searched, was the first to raise the alarm with Australian authorities shortly after the incident occurred on October 2.

Officials are seeking to clarify the number of Australia women that were physically examined.

Senator Payne on Monday said it was a "grossly disturbing, offensive, concerning set of events".

"We have made our views very clear to the Qatari authorities on this matter," she said.

Labor Senator Penny Wong grilled the minister over her communication with Qatari authorities, including her counterpart.


Originally published as Airport strip-search scandal worsens