Ottawa confirmed on Saturday that a group of Canadians had been detained in Ethiopia after a humanitarian organisation reported that 15 volunteers and workers, including 13 Canadian nationals, had been apprehended.
Global Affairs Canada, the foreign ministry, said it had “raised this case directly with the government of Ethiopia and officials are in contact with local authorities to gather further information”.
The charity, Canadian Humanitarian, said that the 15 detained individuals were medical professional volunteers, general volunteers and staff members.
All were Canadians except for two Ethiopian staff members, it said.
Canada’s foreign ministry said it was “aware that Canadian citizens are detained in Ethiopia”.
According to Canadian Humanitarian, the detained “are being investigated on the allegations that they were practicing medicine without permission and had dispensed expired medication”.
“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,” it said.
The organisation added that all protocols had been followed to be properly permitted to provide medical support.
Canadian Humanitarian describes itself as a “non-political organisation” that has worked in the country for 15 years providing educational, medical, dental and social-emotional support to youths.