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Your Help Needed

3 September 2008

Instead of me whining about one thing or the other today, I’m asking for a little bit of action:

If you read my blog you may have noticed the comments of fellow blogger Marsha here from time to time. Marsha’s brother-in-law is a documentary filmmaker and he and his interpreter were arrested by the Nigerian government two days ago. He has been temporarily released each night (his interpreter has not) with orders to return in the morning. The blog set up to keep the information flowing can be found here.

If you have a few minutes today, please make one or two phone calls on his behalf. Here is the most recent Action Alert:

*************ACTION ALERT!**************

We would like everyone to contact their congressional representatives to raise political pressure on this issue.

Phone Script for Elected Officials:

* As a constituent and a concerned citizen, I wanted to bring your attention to the news that American journalist Andrew Berends has been arrested 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 and subjected to coercive questioning is both highly inappropriate and illegal.

* We ask you to make known your awareness and concern about this matter, contact your colleagues, and work to ensure the good treatment and speedy release of Andrew Berends and his interpreter from Nigerian custody.

We would like everyone to call both their own local representatives and also the two Senators from New York State. When talking with New York reps, please add that Andrew is a New Yorker.

The contact information for NY senators Clinton and Schumer is:

* Senator Charles Schumer (D- NY) 202-224-6542
* Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton (D- NY) 202-224-4451

Your local representatives contacts may be found here.

Please forward this call to action to anyone you think could help by making a call to their representatives and the NY senators.

Let’s make the Internet work for good, people!

12 Comments leave one →
  1. cowgirl permalink
    3 September 2008 4:26 pm

    just emailed both Senators (Hutchison & Cornyn) from TX and my US State Rep. Hope he, and his translator, are released soon!

  2. 3 September 2008 7:16 pm

    I left 4 voicemail messages. I guess Schumer doesn’t have voicemail (which is stupid), or it’s broken or something.

  3. 3 September 2008 7:23 pm

    Yikes. I’m on it.

  4. 4 September 2008 8:18 am

    Thanks, Imperatrix, for helping publicize this. And thanks, everyone, for all of your efforts.

    I’ve just posted an update on my blog. Schumer has released a statement calling for Andy’s release. Andy’s still being detained, though, so keep up the phone calls and e-mails!

  5. Peaceable Imperatrix permalink*
    4 September 2008 10:00 am

    I’m glad there’s been some reaction, Marsha!

    I had disappointing responses from most offices.

    Harkin’s office (he’s our Democratic senator) didn’t really care once I mentioned Andrew was from NY (but *I’m* in Iowa, dammit!)

    Clinton’s office did not pick up when I called at 3:30 in the afternoon (as the Consort said, she only promised to answer the phone at 3 a.m. — she said nothing about being there at 3 p.m. — ho, ho, what a card he is!)

    Schumer’s office was the only one to show any interest, but they told me to call the Foreign Affairs desk at their NY office. That person was out of the office, and the person who answered said that my being from Iowa didn’t help (but Andrew’s from NY! dammit).

    In all, I was not very impressed.

    I suppose I should call Grassley (he’s our Republican senator) and mention how unhelpful Harkin’s office was. Hah!

  6. Three of Four permalink
    4 September 2008 12:32 pm

    I’m making calls to my local reps as I type.

    Did you see the letter from Schumer? Is it worth trying to call Condi’s office too? I will try…

  7. Peaceable Imperatrix permalink*
    4 September 2008 2:54 pm

    I should note that someone from Harkin’s office called me today to get more information. When I mentioned Schumer’s letter, she wanted to know *show* in Schumer’s office was working on this — so perhaps Harkin may get involved (woohoo!)

  8. 4 September 2008 6:36 pm

    I emailed Barbara Boxer. I don’t bother contacting the evil Dianne Feinstein any more. I can’t bear any more of her obnoxious condescending replies.

    Good luck, Marsha. I hope you get more than just Schumer’s letter.

  9. 9 September 2008 10:28 pm

    Happy news: Andrew was released today and deported. He’s now on a place en route to Frankfurt and will be back in New York tomorrow!

    Thanks, everyone!

  10. Peaceable Imperatrix permalink*
    10 September 2008 8:36 am

    Marsha, that is so great! I’m glad this had a happy ending.

  11. Cateling permalink
    7 November 2008 11:23 pm

    I received a form letter in the mail today in response to the form phone message I left for Chuck Grassley back in September. Better late than never, I suppose.

  12. Peaceable Imperatrix permalink*
    9 November 2008 7:37 pm

    I got one of those from Harkin last week. Saying he would “do his utmost to bring Andrew Berends home.” Uhhhhh, he got home almost two month ago, Tom!

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