According to the Israeli Foreign Ministry, the Nigerian police arrested three Israelis who were shooting a documentary in southeast Nigeria.
Reports stated that Rudy Rochman, Noam Leibman and French-Israeli Journalist E. David Benaym were arrested last week while filming a documentary in Ogidi village, Idemili North Local Government Area of Anambra State.
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. On July 5, they took off from Ben Gurion Airport and landed in Nigeria the next day.
Locals report that the SSS operatives interrogated and detained the crew at a synagogue during Friday night services in Ogidi, before escorting them to Abuja.
The following was a post shared on the “We Were Never Lost” Facebook page last Thursday:
We Were Never Lost is a project dedicated to connecting unknown, disconnected, and re-emerging Jewish communities around the world. We are currently filming our first episode on the Jews of Nigeria for our first season set in Africa. In Nigeria, many Jews live, including Igbos, and our mission is to assist the local Jewish communities, to provide them with resources, and to document their lives and experiences. Since we are neither politicians nor members of any government delegation, we do not take sides on political movements. "After days of being here, our team has met some of the most amazing people (Jews) in the world and we can't wait to share their stories. Stay tuned. We are here to spread light."
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.