(Black Press Media file photo)

Humanitarian organization says 13 Canadians detained in Ethiopia

It said the group is made up of doctors and other medical professionals

Thirteen Canadians who work with an Alberta-based humanitarian organization are among 15 people detained in Ethiopia, the charity said Saturday.

Canadian Humanitarian said a group of 10 Canadian volunteers, three Canadians on staff and two Ethiopian staff members were in custody in the African country on allegations they were practising medicine without permission and had dispensed expired medication.

The charity disputes those allegations.

“We are vigorously defending the actions and decisions of our team knowing that every decision was made by highly trained and certified Canadian medical professionals and that their mission on this trip was to provide essential medical care to the citizens of Ethiopia who need it most,” Canadian Humanitarian said in a statement on its website.

It said the group is made up of doctors and other medical professionals who jump through every possible bureaucratic hoop to provide care.

“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,” the charity said.

“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.”

Canadian Humanitarian said it’s working with Global Affairs Canada and the Canadian Embassy in Ethiopia to resolve the issue.

“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 expedite their safe return to Canada,” the statement reads.

Global Affairs did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Canadian Humanitarian is described as a registered charity based in Medicine Hat, Alta., which sends volunteers abroad to provide medical and dental support, along with other humanitarian services.

“The group of volunteers currently detained are in Ethiopia to offer these services to our various local partner communities, with whom we have had long-standing, positive, and collaborative relationships for over 15 years,” the statement reads.

“We trust the integrity of these positive relationships with both local and national authorities to ensure the best and quickest resolution to this situation.”

The charity said it would not be commenting further to protect the privacy of those involved.

The Canadian Press

Ethiopia

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

COVID-19 cases identified in Kelowna, after public gatherings

Those who were downtown or at the waterfront from June 25 to July 6 maybe have been exposed to COVID-19.

Pianos return to Kelowna parks

The Pianos in Parks program was postponed amid the COVID-19 pandemic

Certain crimes increased in Peachland during pandemic

Theft from vehicles, vehicle incidents, and break and enters have increased during the pandemic

UPDATE: YouTubers claim to be Kelowna display toilet ‘poopers’

RCMP can not speak to legitimacy of video, will be investigating

Couple shaken up after homophobic encounter at Kelowna mall

‘We’re not in the States; we’re not in some little hick town; we’re in Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada. And it still happens’

B.C. sees 25 new COVID-19 cases, community exposure tracked

One death, outbreaks remain in two long-term care facilities

RCMP ‘disappointed’ by talk that race a factor in quiet Rideau Hall arrest

Corey Hurren, who is from Manitoba, is facing 22 charges

NHL’s Canadian hubs offer little economic benefit, but morale boost is valuable: experts

Games are slated to start Aug. 1 with six Canadian teams qualifying for the 24-team resumption of play

‘Made in the Cowichan Valley’ coming to a wine bottle near you

Cowichan Valley has the honour of being the first sub-GI outside of the Okanagan

VIDEO: Vancouver Island cat missing 18 months reunited with family

Blue the cat found at Victoria museum 17 kilometres from home

VIDEO: Alberta man rescues baby eagle believed to be drowning in East Kootenay lake

Brett Bacon was boating on a lake in Windermere when he spotted the baby eagle struggling in the water

Summerland Blossom Youth Ambassador Program to hold coronation

Event will be held by video as a result of COVID-19 precautions

Vernon shutterbugs capture rainbow

A rain event July 9 made way for a glorious sight

Pooch abandoned at Penticton doggy daycare suffered from oral disease

A fundraiser for Okie held by the BC SPCA surpassed its goal of $1,700

Most Read