Nigerian authorities release American film crew

[via Sweet Crude Movie]

Washington State Senator Maria Cantwell's office has just received word that the four Americans and one Nigerian citizen who have been held in custody since Saturday by Nigerian authorities have been released to American Embassy personnel in Abuja.

The U.S. Ambassador in Abuja, Nigeria told Cantwell's office that the Seattle-based filmmakers were picked up by a van from the detention center and taken to a hotel where they will spend the next two nights before "final processing" by Nigerian authorities.

The film crew had been issued a visa to return to Nigeria to complete a documentary about the impact of oil production on the Niger Delta. They were taken into custody on April 12th at a military checkpoint before being transferred to Nigerian State Security. Authorities claimed the film crew was violating laws by traveling in a restricted area. Attorneys for the Americans insisted that no laws were broken.

The families of director Sandi Cioffi, producer Tammi Simms, and photographers Sean Porter and Cliff Worsham are awaiting telephone calls from them to confirm their safe release.

article originally published at .

The media's job is to interest the public in the public interest. -John Dewey