(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

Oak Bay Police Chief Const. Andy Brinton passes the torch this summer

Deputy Chief Ray Bernoties to take over position in September

Victoria Police see new trends in calls due to COVID-19

Police link jump in domestic, mental health calls to pandemic

VIDEO: Musician stays physically distant in courtyard show for Langford retirees

Bob Nelson found a way to continue to play for retirement community residents

COVID-19: Health care workers seek alternative housing options to prevent families from getting sick

Volunteers, residents and businesses step up to provide frontline workers with alternative housing

BC Parks Foundation organizes virtual picnic for the province

Join a B.C.-wide picnic online Saturday, March 28

Trudeau announces 75% wage subsidy for small businesses amid COVID-19

This is up from the previously announced 10 per cent wage subsidy

COVID-19: A message from the publisher

We will be making some changes to our print editions during these unprecedented times

World update, 9:30 p.m. March 27: Positive news in Korea as U.S. hits 100,000 cases

The United States now has the most coronavirus cases of any country in the world

VIDEO: Penguins roam empty halls of Vancouver Aquarium

COVID-19 has forced the Vancouver Aquarium to close access to guests – leaving room for its residents

COVID-19: Qualicum Beach youngster gets car parade for his sixth birthday

Friends get creative after party cancelled due to ongoing pandemic

Kids get back to learning in B.C., online

Ministry of Education rolls out new tool for school

Nanaimo RCMP ask for help locating 17-year-old girl believed to be with 36-year-old man

Mary Cyprich, missing since Thurday, might be in company of Force Forsythe

67 more B.C. COVID-19 cases, two more deaths in Vancouver region

Positive tests found in Surrey, Langley long-term care facilities

‘Now is not the time to bag that peak’: BCSAR manager discourages risky outdoor adventures

Call volumes are not going down, even as the COVID-19 pandemic persists

Most Read