In February, an Indian-origin Singaporean woman said that Frankfurt airport police told her to squeeze her breast to express milk and prove she was lactating.

Bengaluru woman told to strip at Frankfurt Airport alleges racial profiling
news Racial Profiling Saturday, April 01, 2017 - 22:03

‘I was taken into a room, and was asked to lift my dress/ take it off so that I could be checked to make sure I wasn't 'carrying anything under my clothes'.

This is how Shruthi Basappa, a 30-year-old woman from Bengaluru, now living in Iceland, described her ordeal at Germany’s Frankfurt airport.

Shruthi, in a Facebook post said that she had been travelling with her husband, an Icelandic citizen, and her daughter.

"We were travelling to Iceland from India, via Frankfurt with our 4 year old daughter when I was asked to move aside for this 'random check', no explanations offered. I was taken into a room, and was asked to lift my dress/ take it off so that I could be checked to make sure I wasn't 'carrying anything under my clothes'. This whole ordeal happened in front of my 4 year old," Shruthi wrote.


Shruthi, who lives in Reykjavik, said that she had to go through the harassment, in spite of clearing a full body scan.

She wrote on the Frankfurt’s airport’s Facebook page that she was treated rough in spite of telling airport authorities that she had an abdominal surgery recently.

Shruthi also called it racial profiling and said that she was always the ‘chosen one’ for random checks. “But this happens every time. Every. Single. Time. (I travel with Einar so let's not get into the 'it’s all in your head honey, this is for the larger safety' talk. He has never been stopped,’ she wrote.

“I was given no explanation as to why I was put through this ordeal. I specifically requested for a regular scan, using whatever equipment is in place despite the fact that I had just gone through a body scan, given that 1. It is absolutely ridiculous to be stripping in an airport no less, for no reason. 2. It is violating. My constant requests to be patted down gently because of a recent abdominal surgery (proof of which I was carrying on hand) was constantly ignored and resulted in being shouted at aggressively by the woman in charge. She then proceeded to call her supervisor who parroted the same lines about how they wanted me to take my dress off. I would really like to hear from the #FrankfurtAirport authorities if this is the norm? Why are passengers being asked to take their clothes off? I hate to play the race card here, but I was the only person pulled aside and peeking at my husband instantly changed the woman's mind about the strip search that was now a regular pat down. I'd appreciate a response from you at the earliest.”

In February, an Indian-origin Singaporean woman said that she was "humiliated" by the German police who told her to squeeze her breast to express milk at Frankfurt airport to prove she was lactating.

Gayathiri Bose, 33, who has a three-year-old child and a seven-month-old baby, told the BBC that she was exploring the possibility of taking formal legal action.  

Bose said the incident, which lasted for nearly 45 minutes, was "humiliating" and "very traumatising". She said the police at Frankfurt Airport got suspicious because she was carrying a breast pump but travelling without her baby.

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