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RTD crew stuck in Nigeria, passports seized by local authorities

Nigeria's capital city Abuja © Afolabi Sotunde/ Reuters

An RTD production crew has been stuck in Nigeria for more than a week after the local immigration authority took their passports. Russia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs has called the situation “unacceptable,” adding the ministry is keeping it under control.

Natalia Karachkova and Dmitry Tararako were filming in the city of Yenagoa when migration officials withdrew their documents on November 7. Karachkova and Tararako allegedly, "had the wrong visa category and no filming permit,” according to ministry spokesperson, Maria Zakharova, adding, “that is from the Nigerian authorities’ viewpoint”. Zakharova went on to note that correspondents had actually provided all the required paperwork, including a filming permit approved by Nigeria’s Ministry of Information. 

“We view this as an attempt to prevent Russian media from undertaking legitimate work and to curb freedom of expression,” the spokeswoman said

The ministry has delivered a diplomatic démarche to Nigeria. If nothing changes soon, the ministry will summon Nigeria’s ambassador. RTD crew is in Nigeria to shoot a documentary on “environment-related matters”.