Nine elderly foreign tourists ‘were detained by Chinese authorities after watching BBC documentary’
Date: 18 Jul 2015
By Aislinn Laing, and Josie Ensor
An elderly British couple who spent a week in prison in Inner Mongolia over an “unfortunate misunderstanding” that saw them accused of links to terror, are returning home after Chinese authorities released them without charge.
Hoosain Jacobs, 74, and his wife, Tahira, 68, from Hounslow, Middlesex,were halfway through a luxury 47-day sightseeing tour of China with friends when they were arrested by police at the airport, accused of watching a terrorist video in their hotel room. It was in fact a BBC documentary.
A spokesman for the couple said: “They watched a BBC documentary video on Genghis Khan to further their understanding of the region they were in at the time, and this may have mistakenly been deemed as ‘propaganda’ material.”
The group of British, South African and Indian tourists – 20 in all – were detained. Eleven, including four Britons, were quickly released, while nine more were held until yesterday.
They had their phones confiscated and were held incommunicado in police cells for two days in “not good conditions” before consular visits were allowed. [FULL STORY]