Canadian Humanitarian, an Alberta-based NGO, said that a total of 13 Canadians are being detained at a police station in the Ethiopian city of Gondar, more than 600 kilometres north of Addis Ababa.
Spokesperson Justin Steed told Global News in a statement Saturday that three of the Canadians are staff members, while the other 10 are volunteers.
Originally, there were 18 Canadian detainees but five were released on Friday.
Two Ethiopian staff members are also being detained.
Steed says Ethiopian police are investigating allegations the group was handing out expired medication. Steed said the group is “vigorously defending” its actions.
“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,” Steed 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.”
According to its website, Canadian Humanitarian is a charity based in Medicine Hat, Alta., and obtained its licence as a charitable NGO in Ethiopia in 2012. It describes itself as a non-political humanitarian organization.
Volunteers for the NGO conduct medical, dental and educational humanitarian work in various communities in Ethiopia.
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