Daily Trust

3 Israeli filmmakers nabbed over alleged link to IPOB

- By Idowu Isamotu

Three Israeli filmmakers were allegedly arrested by the Department of State Services (DSS) for alleged link to the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).

The Israelis, Rudy Rochman, a Zionist activist; Noam Leibman, filmmaker, and David Benaym, French-Israeli journalist, were reportedly arrested on July 9 when they visited Ogidi village, Idemili North LGA of Anambra state.

The foreigners were said to have taken off from Ben Gurion Airport, Israel, on July 5 and arrived in Nigeria the following day to film a documentar­y titled, ‘We Were Never Lost’.

The documentar­y seeks to explore Jewish communitie­s in African countries such as Kenya, Madagascar, Uganda, and Nigeria.

According to the Times of Israel, the arrested persons have not been charged by Nigerian authoritie­s and are without legal representa­tion.

The newspaper said the filmmakers were arrested on suspicion that they had come in contact with Biafran separatist­s.

The families of the three Israelis were also quoted in a statement as saying local political elements twisted the gifting of a Torah scroll to a local community as constituti­ng support for separatist political ambitions.

In their statement, the families said the filmmakers brought gifts for the communitie­s hosting them but that the gifts were misinterpr­eted as support for IPOB activities.

“The filmmaking crew thought it would be a nice gesture to bring several gifts with cultural symbolism to the communitie­s it planned to visit,” the statement reads. Unfortunat­ely, members of non-state political groups have hijacked for their own purposes images of the filmmakers gifting a Torah to a local community.

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