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Blog   |   Nigeria

Q & A: Andrew Berends and Aaron Soffin

CPJCPJ interviewed documentary filmmaker Andrew Berends and producer Aaron Soffin at CPJ's headquarters in New York. Berends spent 10 days in the custody of Nigeria's State Security Services in Port Harcourt, from August 31 to September 9. He had been in the country for six months working on his film "Delta Boys." Soffin worked to get Berends released.

CPJ: Tell us about your film.

BERENDS: The film focuses on the militants in the region, but it's really dealing with what it's like living in the Niger Delta, a region that produces enormous amounts of oil. Billions of dollars of oil get pumped out of the Niger Delta, but in some places the people live in abject poverty. There is a lot of frustration over that. The militants claim they are fighting for more resource control. And there's a huge amount of corruption within the local government and then also among some of the militants who are supposedly fighting against that.

September 23, 2008 5:50 PM ET


Blog   |   Nigeria

Clinton seeks release of American in Nigeria

On the heels of a similar letter sent by Sen Charles Schumer (D-NY) yesterday, Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY) has sent one today to U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice about journalist Andrew Berends, who is being held by Nigerian authorities. The letter does not mention Samuel George, Berends' translator, but George is also in police custody.

September 5, 2008 10:44 AM ET

Blog   |   Nigeria

Schumer pushes for release of journalist in Nigeria

Freelance American journalist Andrew Berends and his translator, Nigerian Samuel George have been in the custody of Nigerian State Security Services in Port Harcourt since they were arrested on August 31. Berends, an award-winning filmmaker, legally entered Nigeria in April to complete a documentary called "Delta Boys" about the region's oil conflict.

Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) sent a letter to U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice today to ask her to press the Nigerian government to release Berends. Click here to read the letter.

September 4, 2008 10:50 AM ET


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