Seattle film crew released in Nigeria

April 17, 2008 at 8:05 PM

ABUJA, Nigeria, April 17 (UPI) -- A film crew from Seattle that was arrested in Nigeria has been released to the U.S. Embassy, a spokeswoman for the film project said.

The Seattle Post-Intelligencer reported Thursday that the film crew was arrested Saturday while gathering video footage for a documentary on the Nigerian oil industry and its affect on the national economy and environment.

U.S. Sens. Maria Cantwell and Patty Murray, both Washington Democrats, and about a dozen other members of Congress petitioned the Nigerian government to release the four-member crew.

A spokeswoman for the film project, Leslye Wood, said Cantwell's office contacted her Wednesday with news of the crew's release.

"The U.S. ambassador in Abuja, Nigeria, told Cantwell's office that the ... filmmakers were picked up by a van from the detention center and taken to a hotel, where they will spend the next two nights before 'final processing' by Nigerian authorities," Wood said in a statement.

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