Saturday, September 25, 2021

Our arrest, torture by lawless SSS show suffering of Igbos in Nigeria: Israeli Filmmakers

The Israeli said they were seized by the SSS at gunpoint and incarcerated without seeing the sun or having any communication with the outside world until they were released 20 days later.

• August 1, 2021

Rochman Rudy, one of the three Israeli filmmakers arrested by the State Security Service (SSS), says the torture they suffered at the hands of the Nigerian secret police shows the suffering of Igbos in Nigeria.

Peoples Gazette had in July reported that Mr Rochman a Zionist activist was arrested alongside filmmaker Noam Leibman and French-Israeli Journalist E. David Benaym by the SSS over allegations that they supported the activities of outlawed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).

The trio were arrested during at Ogidi village, Idemili North Local Government Area of Anambra State while shooting a documentary, “We Were Never Lost”, which explores Jewish communities in African countries such as Kenya, Madagascar, Uganda, and Nigeria.

They spent 20 days in detention without being charged to court by the Nigerian government.

However, in a statement released on his official Instagram page Saturday, Mr Rudy explained that they had set out to tell the story of the Igbo Jews before their unlawful arrest.

“We only managed to film for two days out of the two weeks planned in Igboland when armed militants wearing black ski masks forced us at gun point into a van, stripping us of our phones and passports. We didn’t see the light of day or had any form of communication with the outside world till we were released 20 days later,” Mr Rudy wrote.

Peoples Gazette’s request to SSS for comments on Mr Rudy’s claims was not responded to as of the time of filing this report.

Mr Rudy stressed the need to reset focus on the Igbos who have been living in the reality of the 20 days ill-treatment they suffered in the hands of Nigeria’s secret police.

“Now that we are back, it’s important to reset and focus on the Igbo Jews who’ve faced what we went through their whole lives and still live with that reality daily,” he added.

The Israeli further disclosed that he and his team have been blocked from subsequent visits to Nigeria.

Igbos under President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration have constantly complained of marginalisation and maltreatment.

In May, Mr Buhari in a tweet deemed genocidal threatened to deal with Igbo youths over the destruction of government facilities in the region.

The president, in a post shared on his official Twitter page, vowed that “those misbehaving” would “soon have the shock of their lives,” while referencing his role during the 1967 Biafra war where over a million people were gruesomely killed.

“Many of those misbehaving today are too young to be aware of the destruction and loss of lives that occurred during the Nigerian Civil War,” his deleted post said. “Those of us in the fields for 30 months, who went through the war, will treat them in the language they understand.”

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