A Scottish goldmine worker who compared Kyrgyzstan’s national dish to a horse’s penis is to be deported from the country.
Michael McFeat was facing up to five years in prison under race hate laws after a remark on Facebook about the “chuchuk” horsemeat sausage caused a temporary strike.
He posted a picture showing Kyrgyz co-workers queuing in a canteen, saying they were going to collect their “special delicacy, the horse’s penis”.
Mr McFeat later deleted the comments and apologised, but was detained by authorities after the post generated outrage.
“I truly never meant to offend anyone and I’m truly sorry as it was never my intention,” he said.
Radio Azattik said the post had “caused a lot of discontent and resentment on the part of local staff” who demanded he respect Kyrgyz tradition.
The BBC now reports that instead of prison, the Kyrgyz authorities will remove him from the country. The authorities claim, however, that his deportation is due to incorrect documentation and not his joke.
He was reportedly arrested at Manas International Airport, near the capital Bishkek on Sunday.
Michael’s mother Marilyn told the Telegraph: “It was just a throwaway comment. He said it was an amazing meal. We want to be careful what we say, so nothing is misconstrued, but if this so serious, as it appears to be, should somebody not have been in touch with us?”
His wife Amanda added: “It was just a Hogmanay feast, and put up a picture of his colleagues at the meal and praised the chef and said the Kyrgyz were queuing out of the door for their special delicacy, the horse’s penis.”
A spokesman for the British embassy confirmed it was looking into the case: “We are in contact with the local authorities after a British National was detained in Kyrgyzstan and are ready to provide consular assistance.”
Mr McFeat was working at the Kumtor mine, 220 miles south east of Bishkek. It produced more than 9.9 million ounces of gold between 1997 and 2014.