Three Israeli filmmakers were seized, jailed, and apparently tortured by the State Security Service (SSS) on suspicion of supporting the activities of the Independent People of Biafra (IPOB).
According to the Times of Israel, Rudy Rochman, a Zionist activist, filmmaker Noam Leibman, and French-Israeli Journalist E. David Benaym were arrested last week while filming a documentary in Ogidi village, Idemili North Local Government Area, Anambra State.
The trio is alleged to have left Israel’s Ben Gurion Airport on July 5 and arrived in Nigeria the next day to make the documentary “We Were Never Lost,” which explores Jewish communities in African countries including Kenya.
Locals said the SSS operatives interrogated and detained the crew at a synagogue during Friday night services in Ogidi and were subsequently taken to Abuja.
“We do not take any position on political movements as we are not here as politicians nor as a part of any governmental delegations”, a post on the “We Were Never Lost” Facebook page partly read as the shoot came on the heels of the arrest and repatriation of IPOB leader, Nnamdi Kanu from Kenya.
Nigeria’s foreign ministry was said to have confirmed the arrest on Tuesday and noted that the Israeli Embassy in Abuja was following up on the case, although Peoples Gazette could not reach the ministry for confirmation.
A spokesman for the SSS also declined comments about the arrest and claims of torture.
In 2018, Mr Kanu who was first arrested in October 2015 by the Nigerian government declared that he was Jewish after he was granted bail in April 2017.
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