Andrew Berends released from Nigerian internment

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New York filmmaker Andrew Berends has been released by the Nigerian government to the U.S. Embassy.  Apparently he has to report back to the Nigerian SSS for processing Monday, but the worst is over.
Here’s an e-mail from Andrew himself.

Dear Friends,

I am overwhelmed by the extraordinarily deep pool of effort, time,
ingenuity, concern, love, and prayers to which you have all
contributed. During what has been a dark week, I have been uplifted
knowing that so many people have been thinking about me and helping me.

I am also grateful that people saw the importance of remembering to advocate for Samuel George who has served as my translator and friend. Of all his traits, I appreciate Samuel most for his honesty and integrity.

And Joe Bussio who hosted me from time to time has not been forgetten. Joe was also unnecessarily dragged into this mess. If he is guilty of anything, it is excessive kindness.

If you’re ever in trouble, there is no one better to have in your
corner than Aaron Soffin. And with James Longley working at his side, your enemies don’t stand a chance.

I am in a hotel in Abuja, enjoying the respite of a weekend recess
from this ongoing investigation into my alleged wrongdoings. It is
important to understand that we are not out of the woods yet, but
hopeful that the matter will be resolved quickly.

There is one boy I filmed here who has endured far more difficulties
than I have. He made a statement which has given me great solace. He said, “Any time that you wake up, it’s your morning. Now is the bitter time. I pray that soon we will enter into the joy side.” I couldn’t put it any better myself.

Please accept my gratitude for all that you have done for me.

I know that many other people have helped in this effort who may not be on this e-mail, or whose names I may not know. Please extend my deepest thanks to them as well.

– Andrew

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