The Israeli Foreign Ministry has accused the Nigerian police of arresting three Israelis who were shooting a documentary in southeast Nigeria.
Times of Israel reported that a Zionist activist, Rudy Rochman, filmmaker Noam Leibman and French-Israeli Journalist E. David Benaym were allegedly arrested last week when they visited Ogidi village, Idemili North Local Government Area of Anambra State to shoot a documentary.
The Israelis were in Nigeria to film “We Were Never Lost,” a documentary exploring Jewish communities in African countries such as Kenya, Madagascar, Uganda, and Nigeria. They took off from Ben Gurion Airport on July 5 and landed in Nigeria the next day.
Locals said the SSS operatives allegedly interrogated and detained the crew at a synagogue during Friday night services in Ogidi, before taking them to Abuja.
Last Thursday, a post shared on “We Were Never Lost” Facebook page read;
“We Were Never Lost is a project working to reconnect unknown, disconnected and re-emerging Jewish communities around the world. Our first season is set in Africa and we are currently filming our first episode on the Jews of Nigeria. There are many Jews in Nigeria, Igbos included and we are here only to help the local practicing and observing Jewish communities, to provide them with resources, and to document their lives, experiences and aspirations.
“We do not take any position on political movements as we are not here as politicians nor as a part of any governmental delegations.
“After days of being here our team has experienced and met some of the most amazing humans beings (Jews) in the world and we can’t wait to share their story.
“We are here to spread light. Stay tuned.”
Peoples Gazette reported that Nigeria’s foreign ministry confirmed the arrest on Tuesday July 13 and noted that the Israeli Embassy in Abuja was following up on the case.
Sahara Reporters also reported that last week, the “We Were Never Lost” group met with Igbo leader, Eze Chukwuemeka Eri and presented him with a framed Shiviti made in Jerusalem.
Rochman also presented another Igbo community with a Torah scroll whose cover was designed by British-Israeli street artist Solomon Souza.