Sunday, 19 July 2015

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China has deported a group of 20 foreign tourists from Great Britain, South Africa and India for watching video clips that allegedly advocated terrorism and religious extremism, the official state media reported.

Some of the tourists were only watching a documentary about the 13th century Mongol leader Genghis Khan.

Xinhua news agency said that the foreigners watched an unspecified documentary in a hotel room and later some of them watched video clips that advocated terrorism in the border region of Inner Mongolia. The foreigners said it was a misunderstanding.

The news agency cited the foreign affairs office of Ordos city, where police had stopped the 10 tourists from South Africa, 9 from UK and one Indian as they were going to fly to Xi'an, home of the ancient terracotta warriors sculptures and their next stop on a 47-day tour of the country.

Britain's Press Association reported that the documentary was a BBC production on 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".

The Jacobs also said that the group was a mixture of Muslims, Christians and Hindus who had travelled together in the past, including 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 the foreigners were criminally detained in connection with a law that "stipulates punishment for allegedly organising, leading or joining terrorist groups".


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