China deports 20 foreigners from Britain, South Africa and India for watching ‘terrorist’ videos

July 20, 2015 1:42 pm

 

The tourists were going to fly to Xi’an, home of the terracotta warriors. Photo / Mark Mitchell

has deported 20 foreigners from , and India
for watching video clips that advocated terrorism and religious
extremism, the official state media reported, while two of the tourists
reportedly blamed their detentions on a documentary about Genghis Khan.
Xinhua
Agency said the foreigners watched an unspecified documentary in a
hotel room and later some of them watched video clips that advocated
terrorism. Police also found similar clips on a cellphone belonging to
one of the South Africans, Xinhua said.
It cited the foreign
affairs office of Ordos city in China’s Inner Mongolia region, where
police had stopped the 10 South Africans, 9 Britons and one Indian on
July 10 as they were going to fly to Xi’an, home of the terracotta
warriors and their next stop on a 47-day tour of the country. The
British Embassy had said the group included nine Britons and two with
dual British-South African nationalities.

Britain’s Press Association reported that the documentary was a
BBC production on the 13th century Mongol warrior Genghis Khan, citing a
statement from two of the British tourists, husband and wife Hoosain
and Tahira Jacobs. They said that the video “may have mistakenly been
deemed as `propaganda’ material’.”
“It can only be assumed that
junior officials who made the initial arrest in Inner Mongolia made a
mistake, due to perhaps their unfamiliarity of the English language,”
the statement said.

Genghis Khan is a complicated figure for China.
Genghis Khan is a complicated figure for China.
The Jacobs also said that the group was a mixture of
Muslims, Christians and Hindus who had travelled together in the past,
including to Israel and the United States. They had visited the Genghis
Khan Mausoleum in Ordos the day before they were stopped at the airport.
Xinhua
said that five South Africans, three Britons and one Indian national
were criminally detained on July 11 in connection with a law that
“stipulates punishment for allegedly organising, leading or joining
terrorist groups.”
It said the nine “admitted to their illegal
acts and repented,” without elaborating. It said police treated the case
leniently and deported them last Saturday.
The other 11 were deported on Wednesday.
Calls
to the foreign affairs office in Ordos rang unanswered. A man on duty
at Ordos police, who only identified his surname, Han, said he had no
information on the case.

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