The Department of State Services (DSS) has released the three Israeli filmmakers in its custody after spending over 20 days in its detention facility in Abuja.
One of the top officials of the secret police, who confirmed their release on Friday, said the trio were released after concluding an investigation showing they had no link with members of the outlawed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).
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A Zionist activist, Rudy Rochman; a filmmaker, Noam Leibman and French-Israeli Journalist, E. David Benaym were arrested on July 9 by the secret police over an allegation that they supported the activities of IPOB.
The trio were arrested during their visit to Ogidi village, Idemili North Local Government Area of Anambra State to shoot a documentary entitled: “We Were Never Lost”.
According to the filmmakers, the documentary was to explore Jewish communities in African countries such as Kenya, Madagascar, Uganda, and Nigeria.
Confirming their release in a statement jointly signed by the filmmakers and shared on their Instagram page, they were released from prison on Tuesday night and boarded a flight back to Israel on Wednesday evening.
The filmmakers, while narrating their ordeal, claimed that they were first taken to the DSS facility in Anambra State where they spent 24 hours before they were transported to its headquarters in Abuja.
“Nigerian government ‘suspected’ the team and took them into custody by over a dozen DSS men with black ski masks at gunpoint.
”From the moment they were taken their phones and passports were stripped from them and they were at no point of their detainment able to contact anyone,” their statement partly read.
The Israelis said they were locked in a small cell with no access to showers or clean clothes, and “were interrogated and mistreated without ever officially being arrested or accused of anything”.
The spokesman of the secret police, Peter Afunanya, could not be reached for comments as calls put across to his mobile phone were unanswered.