Singaporean mother told to prove she was lactating by German airport police

  • World
  • Tuesday, 31 Jan 2017

Gayathiri Bose was taken aside for questioning at Frankfurt Airport and asked to prove she was lactating.PHOTO: AFP.

FRANKFURT: A Singaporean mother was stopped by Frankfurt Airport police and asked to prove she was lactating after a security check showed a breast pump in her carry-on bag when she was travelling alone.

Gayathiri Bose, 33, told the BBC that she has filed a complaint with German police and added that an airport security officer had told her to squeeze her breast to prove that she was lactating.

Bose was on her way to her Paris-bound flight on Jan 26 when the "humiliating" and "very traumatising" incident happened.

According to the BBC report, Bose was taken aside for questioning at the security screening station, after her carry-on bag, which contained her breast pump, went through the X-ray machine.

Police officers asked her where her baby was, and seemed doubtful that the device was a breast pump.

They kept her passport and a female officer led her to a room for further questioning.

The officer then asked Bose to prove that she was lactating, and Bose had to open her blouse and show the officer her breast.

When asked why she did not have anything attached to her breast, Bose replied that the pump did not work by being permanently attached.

The officer asked Bose to show she was lactating by hand-expressing, and Bose complied.

She told the BBC: "I was just in shock, I was going through the motions. I was all by myself as well, and wasn't sure what would happen to me if they decided to make trouble for me."

She added that she cried and "was terribly upset".

Her breast pump was tested and cleared before being returned to Bose and she was allowed to board her plane to Paris after nearly 45 minutes.

The manager at a transport company is exploring the possibility of taking formal legal action, saying that while she acknowledge the need for security checks, "to outrage a person's modesty is definitely crossing the line". She has a three-year-old child and a seven-month-old baby.

German police declined to comment to the BBC about the incident, but said that the security check that Bose underwent was not part of the usual procedure.

Christian Altenhofen, spokesman for the German federal police unit at Frankfurt Airport told the BBC: "If a suspected explosive is detected at an air safety control point, the baggage and the person must be searched.

"The measures you have described for a breastfeeding mother are clearly not included." – The Straits Times/Asia News Network

Article type: metered
User Type: anonymous web
User Status:
Campaign ID: 1
Cxense type: free
User access status: 3
Subscribe now to our Premium Plan for an ad-free and unlimited reading experience!

Next In World

EU leaders to push for defence investment programme at December summit -draft
Pakistan suicide blast targeting police kills 3, wounds 28
Fire at oil storage tank in Russia's Bryansk region - governor
Family concerned about whereabouts of Whelan, American jailed in Russia
Australian PM Albanese raises Assange's detention with U.S. officials
Leaders of New Zealand and Finland shoot down question on age and gender
Australian parliament censures former PM Morrison over secret ministries
Japan court rules same-sex marriage ban constitutional, but holds out hope
Half of world's democracies in decline -intergovernmental watchdog
Alberta Premier Danielle Smith seeks more sovereignty from Canada in new bill

Others Also Read