An Indian national is among the 20 people who have been detained by Chinese authorities for suspected links to a "terror group". The Indian national is among 10 South Africans and 9 Britons who are part of an African charity organisation called "Gift of the Givers", which claims to be the biggest African-origin disaster relief organisation in the African continent.
"These individuals have no terror links, no criminal record in their country," the charity said in a statement on Tuesday.
The group had gone to China for a planned 47-day trip to explore the ancient country, according to an official statement from the organisation, when they were detained on Friday at Erdos Airport, Inner Mongolia, at 9.40 am local time.
While 11 of them have been released today after consultations between the South African, British, and Chinese governments, the Indian national as well as five South Africans and three Brits are still detained.
No formal charges have been made against any of the detainees, according to the charity group, though there is a possibility of criminal charges against some of them. According to reports, six of the released Brits are expected to reach UK tomorrow, while five South Africans will fly out that day.
"The family of the South African group are considering appointing a Chinese human rights lawyer to represent the family but to defend what as no charges have been put to them," said a statement from the charity today. "No charges have been put to the group but the Chinese have been very vague saying that someone in the group has some links to a suspected terror group and that someone has some links to a banned group and that the real reason for the incarceration is that someone was watching propaganda videos in the hotel."
"The conditions in the detention centre, apparently, are not good," it said. "Family members are extremely worried and want finality on the issue."