Four US documentary filmmakers Arrested in Niger Delta

Sandy Cioffi in Seattle
Four documentary filmmakers from the US and a Nigerian citizen have been arrested by the Nigerian military in the Niger Delta. The Seattle-based crew has been detained since Saturday. The film crew was finishing work on the documentary Sweet Crude. Arrested were director Sandy Cioffi and crew members Tammi Sims, Cliff Worsham and Sean Porter, as well as Joel Bisina, founder of the Niger Delta Professionals for Development. Sandy Cioffi appeared on Democracy Now! in 2006 to discuss the situation in the Niger Delta and the role women played in protesting multinational oil corporations.

Sandy Cioffi: “And those women were demanding fairly basic things, like jobs, some remediation of the environment, water, electricity, healthcare, basic infrastructure that you would expect, that if you have $38 billion annually of revenue going to your government, that you would have, and they have none of those things. In fact, they have quite the opposite. They have their livelihood taken away from them.”

The Committee to Protect Journalists has called on Nigeria to immediately release Sandy Cioffi and the four other members of her crew and to end what it described as a pattern of censorship of the conflict over oil in the region.