An Alberta-based humanitarian organization says 15 of its people — including 13 Canadians — have been detained in Ethiopia.

Canadian Humanitarian, a non-governmental organization based in Medicine Hat, says in a statement on its website that a group of volunteers and staff members are in custody.

The statement says the group includes 10 Canadian volunteers, three Canadian staff members and two Ethiopian staff members.

The organization says the group is being investigated on allegations they were practising medicine without permission and had dispensed expired medication.

But Canadian Humanitarian disputes this, saying the team “followed all necessary steps and protocols” to make sure it had “all permits needed to provide medical support and care while in Ethiopia.”

The organization says that while it can’t comment on the specific allegations surrounding expired medicine, it can “with confidence say that all medicine and care offered by our team was safe.”

It says it’s working with Global Affairs Canada and the Canadian Embassy in Ethiopia to ensure the issue is resolved quickly and fairly.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 29, 2020.  

The Canadian Press

The Canadian Press