March 18th, 2009 5:33 pm | by JAMES PITKIN News | Posted In: CLEAN UP, CLEAN UP, CLEAN UP

Portland Film Crew Ambushed in the Congo


Just when a lot of folks in local media are bitching about their work conditions — or lack thereof — comes this bit of perspective from the Democratic Republic of Congo.

A Portland-based film crew claims it was ambushed and robbed at gunpoint by soldiers in the war-torn Central African country on Monday. The crew apparently was working on a documentary to encourage an end to the 10-year conflict that's claimed more than 4 million lives.

According to a news release (PDF):
Two members of the filmmaking team were in a vehicle with members of their NGO partner SFCG (Search For Common Ground) and military liason officers near the village of Matebe when the vehicle was stopped by armed soldiers appearing to belong to FARDC (Congolese Army). The FARDC soldiers pulled people from the vehicle at gunpoint and demanded that all members of the team turn over mobile phones and cash. The soldiers then forcibly searched filmmaker John Nichols and seized the crew's filmmaking equipment, including their primary camera and audio gear. The soldiers also robbed a van traveling behind the filmmakers, also at gunpoint.
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