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Members of Alberta family detained in Ethiopia have returned home: relative


Some people who were part of a Canadian Humanitarian group that was recently detained in Ethiopia have been identified to Global News as a family from Olds, Alta., and some of the family members have reportedly since returned home.

A relative of the family told Global News on Wednesday that Dr. Jared Ord, a dentist, his wife Lindsay Ord and their two children were among a group of people taken into custody several days ago.

Lindsay and the couple’s two children have now returned home, according to the relative, but Jared remains in Ethiopia where he is out on bail.

The relative, whose identity Global News has agreed to keep anonymous, did not say when the Ords came home or what their current legal status is.

A group of Canadian volunteers, Canadians on staff and Ethiopian staff members were recently detained in Ethiopia on allegations that they were practising medicine without proper approval and that they had given out expired medicine, according to Canadian Humanitarian.

A spokesperson for the charity said that originally 18 Canadians were detained, but five were released last Friday. Lindsay and her two children were among the five that were released. They had been detained at a hotel in the Ethiopian city of Gondar.

Jared had been detained in jail.

READ MORE: Canadians detained in Ethiopia granted bail: Alberta MP

The charity organization denied the allegations and said in a statement Tuesday that it was working with Global Affairs Canada and other diplomatic and legal professionals to get all the detainees released on bail. Bail was granted to all the detainees on Tuesday and they were released from jail on Wednesday.

Canadian Humanitarian has said the group’s mission was to offer essential medical care to Ethiopians.

Edmonton Strathcona MP Heather McPherson, the NDP’s international development critic, said earlier this week that charity founders Dr. Richard Northcott and Deborah Northcott from Medicine Hat, Alta., were among the detainees.

The federal government continues to be “fully engaged” in the matter and officials are in contact with local authorities to gather further information, according to Global Affairs Canada.

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