Mistaken 'terror links'? China arrested tourists for watching Genghis Khan documentary

As China deported 20 tourists including an Indian national after arresting them over the so-called “terror links”, it has emerged that the arrests were a result of a misunderstanding by Chinese officials as they mistook a Genghis Khan documentary for a terrorist video due to “their unfamiliarity of the English language”.

By Supriya Jha | Last Updated: Jul 19, 2015, 08:16 AM IST
Mistaken 'terror links'? China arrested tourists for watching Genghis Khan documentary
Genghis Khan mausoleum at Ordos

Beijing: As China deported 20 tourists including an Indian national after arresting them over the so-called “terror links”, it has emerged that the arrests were a result of a misunderstanding by Chinese officials as they mistook a Genghis Khan documentary for a terrorist video due to “their unfamiliarity of the English language”.

Indian businessman Rajiv Mohan Kulshrestha, was among 20 tourists belonging to a South Africa-based NGO, who were on a 47-day tour to China.

But they were all arrested in July 10 at Ordos' in China's Inner Mongolia province on July 10 for allegedly watching videos of a banned terror group in their hotel rooms.

Besides Rajiv Mohan Kulshrestha, the 20 foreigners comprised of 10 South Africans and nine British.

However, there was no charge put on any of them and now all have been released.

It can be noted that the arrest come as China has intensified a crackdown on human rights activists and more than 145 lawyers and campaigners have been detained, reports the Guardian.

However, Chinese authorities remain tight-lipped about the cause of arrest.

According to a statement by a couple Hoosain Ismail Jacobs, who were among those arrested, the arrests were made because “junior officials who made the initial arrest in Inner Mongolia made a mistake, due to perhaps their unfamiliarity of the English language” and misconstrued a documentary on Genghis Khan to be a ‘propaganda’ material .

“The Jacobs family wish to thank the senior Chinese authorities in Beijing for the swift manner in which they have resolved this unfortunate misunderstanding,” the Guardian quoted their statement.

A day before the arrest, the tour group had visited the Genghis Khan mausoleum.

Genghis Khan, was the founder and Great Khan of the Mongol Empire, which became the largest contiguous empire in history after his demise.