Sep 5th, 2008
He’s still being detained in Nigeria. He has just been moved from Port Harcourt (where he’s been all week) to Abuja, the capitol. This is good news, as he will be closer to U.S. consular officials. It’s been six days since his arrest, and no one from the U.S. consulate has visited him yet, which is highly irregular in a situation such as this.
Senator Clinton and Senator Schumer have both issued statements urging the U.S. State Department to press the Nigerian government for Andy’s release. Christiane Amanpour, CNN’s chief international correspondent and a board member of the Committee to Protect Journalists, has also issued a statement calling for Andy and his translator, Samuel George, to be released.
Updates are posted here as we have them.
Here’s the latest:
Day 6, and still no action
Day 6 of Andrew’s illegal detention by the State Security Services of Nigeria. The U.S. State Department has been aware of Andrew’s detainment since Day 1, and he has still NOT been visited by a US consular official. This is highly irregular, and not the treatment we expect for a US journalist held in Nigeria — a country the US affords full diplomatic relations.
It’s time to take strong action NOW to advocate on Andrew’s behalf. With the weekend approaching, our ability to reach the State Dept. is diminishing.
Please take a few minutes out of your day to call the State Dept. and demand action for Andy:
We need him to be visited by a US consular official immediately. No more delays.
Please pick up the phone and make this call NOW.
What to say:
* As a constituent and a concerned citizen, I wanted to bring your attention to the news that it is the SIXTH DAY that American journalist Andrew Berends has been detained by the Nigerian government while working on a documentary.
* Nigeria enjoys the highest level of diplomatic relations with the United States, and for an American journalist to be detained without representation for such a prolonged time and continually subjected to coercive questioning is both highly inappropriate and illegal.
* We ask you to work to ensure the good treatment and speedy release of Andrew Berends, his interpreter Samuel George and Joe Bussio from Nigerian custody. Someone from the State Department in Nigeria needs to see him immediately.
Andrew Silski is at the Nigeria desk: 202-647-0252
Stuart Denyer is in charge of the case in DC: 202-736-9163
Call the main consular line in Abuja 011 234 9461 4262
Call the main consular lines in Lagos: Telephone: 011 234 1261 0050 or 011 234 1261 0078
We know that many of you have been in contact with your elected official, both your Congressional Representative or your Senator. We encourage you to continue to contact them towards Andrew’s release. If you have not contacted your Congressional Representative or your Senator, please do so today.
To get your Representative or Senator’s contact information, click here.
Senators from New York:
In addition to calling your local representative, we would like everyone to call the two Senators from New York State, Andrew’s home state. When talking with the New York representatives, please make sure you mention that Andrew is a New Yorker.
You can reach them here:
* Senator Charles Schumer (D- NY) 212-486-4430
* Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton (D- NY) 212-688-6262
Please forward this call to action to anyone you think could help by making a call to their representatives and the NY senators.
One Response to “Latest update on Andy”