(Washington, D.C.) – Today U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) was cautious but hopeful after the U.S. State Department said that the Nigerian government has decided to release a Seattle-based documentary film crew. The Nigerian government has held Sandy Cioffi, Tammi Sims, Clifford Worsham, Sean Porter, and Nigerian citizen Joel Bisina against their will for more than 100 hours.

"I'm pleased that the Nigerian government has announced their intention to release these filmmakers, but I won't be satisfied until they are all home safe with their families," said Senator Murray. 

Senator Murray sent a letter to Ambassador Robin Renee Sanders in Abuja, Nigeria expressing concerns about the detainment of these prisoners and requesting the American embassy's assistance in securing their release. Later, Murray joined thirteen of her colleagues in sending a letter to the President of Nigeria requesting their release. 

Officials with the U.S. State Department told the Senators that the film crew will be put up in a hotel this evening but they will have to report back to the Nigerian government for processing before they can be released from custody.