A Scottish mine worker who was thrown out of Kyrgyzstan for a remark about a local delicacy says police warned him he could have sent the country to war with the UK.
Michael McFeat, who is now back home in Perthshire, said he has been banned from entering the former Soviet country for five years.
Mr McFeat was held by police after posting a picture on Facebook of Kyrgyz co-workers queuing for a “chuchuk” horsemeat sausage, with a caption comparing it with a horse’s penis.
He says he believed the traditional dish was actually a horse’s penis, but the remark offended and angered his colleagues.
He said he was smuggled out of the Kumtor goldmine after being told an “angry lynch mob” was coming to get him.
After a nine-hour journey, during which he says the vehicle in which he was travelling was “rammed” by two cars, Mr McFeat was arrested by police at Manas Airport in Bishkek, and held under racial hatred laws.
He said: “The police told me my act could send Kyrgyzstan to war with the UK.”
Following a court appearance and an apology, Mr McFeat was driven to the airport for a flight to Edinburgh.
“I was told there was a 17-page petition demanding I be jailed and the mine went on strike after I left, so they were making an example of me,” Mr McFeat said.
“I’ve always been up for a joke but this was one time I wasn’t joking and it’s been blown out of proportion.”
He has since learned colleagues in his Facebook photograph were also investigated.
Mr McFeat said: “They are scared for their jobs now and I feel terrible. I’ve always been up for a joke but this was one time I wasn’t joking and it’s been blown out of proportion.”
He is now banned from entering Kyrgyzstan for five years.
He said:“It’s disappointing as I love the job and loved the month on, month off shift, but everything happens for a reason.
“I’ll find out what that reason is soon enough, but for now I’m going to spend time with my family. I don’t think my wife will be letting me go anywhere far any time soon. She’s been through enough.”