How Andrew Berends Escaped Nigerian Prison

The questionable detention by the Nigerian government, and subsequent release, of documentary filmmaker Andrew Berends ’94 (left) is featured in today’s NY Times.

Berends made it out of the harrowing 10-day situation with the help of his friend and fellow filmmaker Aaron Soffin (right), who organized a large network of filmmakers, journalists, and politicians which came to include Mariane Pearl and Senator Hillary Clinton, to pressure the Nigerian government to release Berends:

Although he was never formally accused of a crime, Mr. Berends, 36, was held in Nigeria without food and water for 30 hours (fearful of exposing his sources, he managed to swallow the SIM card from his cellphone that carried their names and numbers). He managed brief phone conversations with Mr. Soffin. “I got the message from him that everything possible was being done,” Mr. Berends said this past Friday. “Knowing it was happening was very comforting.”

Soffin is now headed to Rwanda to make a documentary about that country’s genocide. Unflappable!

11 thoughts on “How Andrew Berends Escaped Nigerian Prison

  1. Anonymous

    I’m glad he was released.But it’s depressing to think that were he a Nigerian national (or a citizen of almost any other non-western country) being detained by the U.S., his friend have had no recourse by which to try to secure his release. And we never would have heard of him.

  2. Anonymous

    I’m glad he was released.But it’s depressing to think that were he a Nigerian national (or a citizen of almost any other non-western country) being detained by the U.S., his friend have had no recourse by which to try to secure his release. And we never would have heard of him.

  3. Anonymous

    I’m glad he was released.

    But it’s depressing to think that were he a Nigerian national (or a citizen of almost any other non-western country) being detained by the U.S., his friend have had no recourse by which to try to secure his release. And we never would have heard of him.

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