A British man working in a gold mine in Kyrgyzstan has been arrested and questioned by police for comparing a local delicacy to a "horse penis".
On New Year's Eve, Micheal Mcfeat, 39, posted this update, now deleted, in which he referred to chuchuk, a traditional horse meat sausage popular across Central Asia, as "the horses penis!!!"
AFP quoted a Kyrgyz interior ministry spokesperson who said that Mcfeat was arrested and detained and could face up to five years in jail for breaching racial hatred laws, should a successful conviction be brought against him.
Mcfeat, from Perth and Kinross in Scotland, deleted that status and on the afternoon of 2 January posted this apology.
Mcfeat works as a welding superintendent at the Kumtor gold mine in Kyrgyzstan – where his co-workers took such offence at the Facebook status they briefly went on strike, AFP reported.
The mine is one-third owned by the Kyrgyzstan government and managed by Toronto-based Centerra Gold – BuzzFeed News has approached the company for comment.
Turdakun Sydykov, minister-counsellor at the Kyrgyzstan embassy in London, told BuzzFeed News that it had not received official confirmation on the case but quoted local news reports which said he was arrested but not charged.
Sydykov said: "According to the local press (in Kyrgyzstan), co-workers of Mr Mcfeat were outraged by his inconsiderate behaviour, wrote a complaint to the police demanding him to be prosecuted for inciting interethnic hatred."
The authorities are "trying to figure out what to do with this incident", Sydykov said, adding that the workers at the mine were only "about to" go on strike over the incident, without going through with it.
A spokesman for the British Foreign Office said: "We are in contact with the local authorities after a British national was detained in Kyrgyzstan. Our staff are also in touch with his family and are ready to provide assistance as required."
BuzzFeed News has contacted Mcfeat and his family for comment.
Patrick Smith is a senior reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.
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