Sweet Crude filmmakers supporting Andrew Berends


I have just spoken with Sandi Cioffi, director of Sweet Curde, who has been working for the release of Andrew Berends, the New York filmmaker detained in Nigeria.  They have been in contact with Aaron Soffin, Andrew’s colleague who is coordinating the support for him.   The press release from Aaron’s production company follows:

Aaron Soffin, Storyteller Productions
Phone: 917.887.4063 / 212.712.2781
Email: soffin@gmail.com
American documentary filmmaker detained in Port Harcourt, Nigeria
NEW YORK, September 2, 2008 – Andrew Berends, an established, award-winning
American filmmaker and journalist from New York, was detained Sunday August 31st by
the Nigerian military along with his translator, Samuel George, and Joe Bussio, the
manager of a local bar. Andrew entered Nigeria legally in April 2008 to complete a
documentary film.
Andrew was held in custody without food, sleep, or representation, and with limited
water for 36 hours. He was questioned by the army, the police, and the State Security
Services in Port Harcourt. He was then temporarily released, with an order to the SSS
office at 9AM Tuesday morning. The State Security Services has confiscated his
passport and personal property. Andrew’s translator, Samuel George, remained in
custody over night.
The US State Department is aware of the situation, and an attorney has been retained
on Andrewʼs behalf. We, Andrew’s friends, family, and colleagues, are deeply
concerned that he has been held without cause and are calling for his safe treatment
and immediate release.


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