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Families of Israelis arrested in Nigeria deny claim they support separatists

Illustrative: Participants singing and clapping during an event in Umuahia, Nigeria, May 28, 2017. (AP Photo/Lekan Oyekanmi)
Illustrative: Participants singing and clapping during an event in Umuahia, Nigeria, May 28, 2017. (AP Photo/Lekan Oyekanmi)

The families of three Israelis arrested last week in Nigeria over alleged contact with anti-government separatists released a statement charging that local political elements have “twisted” the gifting of a Torah scroll to a local community to claim it constitutes support for separatist political ambitions.

Rudy Rochman, a pro-Israel activist with almost 95,000 followers on Instagram, filmmaker Andrew Noam Leibman and French-Israeli journalist Edouard David Benaym were arrested last week while shooting a documentary in a separatist region of southeast Nigeria.

According to media reports, Nigerian authorities arrested and interrogated the trio on suspicion that they had come into contact with Biafran separatists.

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