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When the Internet Does Good

10 September 2008

Last week I asked you all to help Marsha’s brother-in-law, who was detained by the Nigerian government. Andy was released yesterday, and should be back in NY today.

Ten Senators dispatched a letter to the president of Nigeria, and I think that helped. Unfortunately, Harkin was not one of them. I’ve already sent his office a scolding email about this — I am terribly disappointed. Someone in his office even called me back the day after I called them to get more details, and I passed on the name of the help andy Web site.

Anyway, if you contacted your representative, you did good. Thanks!

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. 10 September 2008 9:08 am

    Hooray for the Internet! And thanks to PI and everyone else who helped spread the word, sent e-mails, and made phone calls.

    A number of people have asked me about the translator and businessman who were also arrested. From the “official” update site (http://helpandy.wordpress.com/2008/09/10/confirmed-andrew-berends-coming-home/):

    “From what we understand, Samuel George, Andrew’s translator, and another man who was detained with him are returning to the State Security Service (SSS) tomorrow. We hope that they will be fully cleared then. International journalism relies on the work of such trusted friends as Samuel, and we ask you to check in tomorrow to learn of their status. If there’s more we need to do to help them, we will be the first to let you know.”

    So things are still up in the air with them.

  2. 10 September 2008 9:33 am

    Oh my god, I just read about this detention the other day in the New York Times, and it stuck with me because I had a friend who was detained in Lagos years back, and he described it as an utter nightmare. I didn’t know about your connection until just now, but I’m so happy for you and Marsha, and especially Andrew Berends. Congrats — well don.

  3. 10 September 2008 10:31 am

    Kudos to all involved and thank you for the opportunity to do something that seems to have made a difference no matter how small my contribution may have been.

  4. 12 September 2008 11:22 am

    Wow. I’m really glad. Well done for publicising this!

  5. Rob permalink
    24 September 2008 10:07 am

    I’m glad it was resolved, and that US Senators still carry some weight in Africa. (Would not work in Zimbabwe methinks).

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