Indian among 20 tourists arrested in China for suspected ‘terror link’

BEIJING : A group of 20 foreign tourists including Britons, South Africans and an Indian national, have actually been arrested in northern China, according to reports by Britain’s Foreign Office and a South African charity, on suspicion some had ties to a “terror group”.

China has actually agreed to release 11 of the tourists, yet the rest will certainly continue to be held without charge at a detention center in Inner Mongolia, the South African charity, Gift of the Givers Foundation, said.

Chinese authorities said some of those arrested had been watching propaganda videos from a banned group in their hotel room, the charity added in its statement.

Five South Africans, three Britons and one Indian national make up the nine being held, it said.

“Consular staff have actually visited the group to provide assistance and we are liaising along with Chinese authorities,” a British foreign office spokesman told Reuters.

The Chinese foreign ministry and the South African embassy did not immediately respond to a request for comment. An Indian embassy spokesman told Reuters he had no article on the matter.

Chinese law enforcement authorities could not be immediately reached for comment.

The group was on a 47-day tour of the country when they were detained at an airport in the Inner Mongolian city of Erdos. Their tour operator realized something had gone “horribly wrong” on Sunday, two days later, the foundation said, when he hadn’t heard from them.

“These individuals have actually no terror links, no criminal record in their country,” said Gift of the Givers, which has actually negotiated hostage releases.

“The families thank the South African government for their unwavering support and call upon the Chinese government to release the detainees immediately.”

Several of those detained are relatives of Shameel Joosub, chief executive of telecoms company Vodacom Group Ltd., the charity added.

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