3 Israeli filmmakers nabbed over alleged link to IPOB
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.