An Alberta-based humanitarian organization says 15 of their staff–including 13 Canadians–have been detained in Ethiopia.
Canadian Humanitarian, a non-government organization based in Medicine Hat, says in a statement on that a group of volunteers and staff members are in custody.
“The group that is detained consists of 10 Canadian volunteers, 3 Canadian staff members, and 2 Ethiopian staff members. As of right now they are being investigated on the allegations that they were practicing medicine without permission and had dispensed expired medication,” according to the statement.
“Just like all of our trips, our team and organization followed all necessary steps and protocols to ensure our group had all permits needed to provide medical support and care while in Ethiopia. While we cannot comment on the specifics of the expiry of the medication, we can with confidence say that all medicine and care offered by our team was safe. Our medical groups are comprised of numerous doctors and medical professionals. The care they provide in Ethiopia is the same care they would provide here in Canada.”
The group describes itself as “a registered Canadian Charity working in Africa to benefit orphaned and vulnerable children, their families and communities.”
It says it is working with Global Affairs Canada and the Canadian Embassy in Ethiopia to have the staff and volunteers freed.
“We are working hard to resolve this as quickly as possible, ensure the fair and humanitarian treatment of our team in accordance with internationally recognized laws, and expediate their safe return to Canada.”
NEWS 1130 has reached out to Global Affairs Canada for more information.