Last updated: 11:38 AM ET, Fri July 17 2015

China to Deport Tourists Suspected of Watching Terrorist Videos

Impacting Travel | Patrick Clarke | July 17, 2015

China to Deport Tourists Suspected of Watching Terrorist Videos

Chinese authorities have announced that they plan to release three more British tourists who were arrested last week on suspicion of having viewed and spread terrorist videos, the Guardian reported.

The tourists were among a group of 20 foreigners who were on a 47-day tour of ancient China when they were arrested at Ordos Ejin Horo Airport last week. 

The 20 detainees comprised 10 South Africans, nine Britons and one Indian. The six other British tourists returned to the U.K. on Thursday.

"These people are suspected of watching and spreading violent terrorist videos," Ordos official Zhang Xi told reporters on Thursday, after days of confusion stemming from a lack of information. Up until recently, local police hadn't commented on the arrests and foreign officials would only say that the detainees were suspected of committing "criminal offenses."

A spokesman for the U.K.'s Foreign Office confirmed to the Guardian that the tourists would be deported: "Chinese authorities have said the remaining three British nationals detained in Ordos will be deported shortly. Our consular staff have visited the detainees and received assurances from the Chinese government about their health and treatment. The embassy is in regular contact with the Chinese authorities both in Ordos and in Beijing."

The group's tour was operated by China Odyssey Tours and planned for them to visit a plethora of China's top tourist attractions, including the Yangtze River and Tiananmen Square.

An itinerary obtained by the Guardian shows that the tourists stayed at the Crowne Plaza hotel in Ordos for five nights prior to being detained.


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