Action Update: Monday at 4pm ET
Monday, September 8, 2008
American documentary filmmaker Andrew Berends remains in the custody of the Nigerian State Security Services, now 9 days after his arrest and detention on false charges.
The State Security Service (SSS) still has Andrew’s passport and belongings, and they have given no indication of when they intend to release him.
We believe that New York Senators Clinton and Schumer need to put continued pressure on the State Department and the Nigerian Government to secure the immediate release of Andrew Berends, a native of New York, and Samuel George, the Nigerian translator with whom he worked, who is also detained by the SSS.
Therefore, we ask everyone to contact the offices of Clinton and Schumer to demand decisive action.
What to say:
- As a constituent and a concerned citizen, I wanted to bring your attention to the continued detention of American journalist Andrew Berends and his translator, Samuel George, in Nigeria. Having been arrested nine days ago, he has still not been charged.
- Thank you for the work you have done so far, however, the continued detention of Andrew and Samuel, after nine days with no official charges made against them is a bad sign. Please commit to stepping up your level of involvement on this issue, and continuing to apply consistent pressure to your colleagues in Congress and the State Department to have Andrew and Samuel released.
- Nigeria enjoys the highest level of diplomatic relations with the United States, and for an American journalist to be detained without representation and subjected to coercive questioning is both highly inappropriate and illegal.
Reaching the Senators:
The contact information for NY senators Hillary Clinton and Charles Schumer is:
- Senator Charles Schumer (D- NY) 212-486-4430 or email Senator Schumer
- Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton (D- NY) 212-688-6262 or email Senator Clinton