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Syrian producer Orwa Nyrabia freed

Syrian producer and festival organizer Orwa Nyrabia (pictured) has been released by the Syrian government, 21 days after disappearing while trying to leave the country.
September 13, 2012

Syrian producer and festival organizer Orwa Nyrabia (pictured) has been released by the Syrian government, 21 days after disappearing while trying to leave the country.

According to a statement issued jointly by filmmakers Alex Gibney, Lawrence Wright, Rasha Salti and Julia Meltzer – who had been campaigning for Nyrabia’s release – the producer was taken by Syrian’s Military Security and turned over to a civilian court, which yesterday (September 12) reviewed Nyrabia’s case and freed him.

“Family members say that he is strong and in good spirits,” the statement added. “On this day, we celebrate Orwa’s freedom and fervently hope that thousands of other Syrians who have been similarly detained will also be given their freedom.”

The news comes after Nyrabia,┬áthe director of Syria’s Dox Box Film Festival, disappeared on August 23 after attempting to travel from Damascus International Airport, prompting concern from family members.

After realscreen reported the incident the next day, concern grew within the industry. Among the many organizations uniting to call for his release were with the International Documentary Association, the Toronto International Film Festival, IDFA, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, and the Sundance and Tribeca Film Institutes.

About The Author
Barry Walsh is editor and content director for realscreen, and has served as editor of the publication since 2009. With a career in entertainment media that spans two decades, prior to realscreen, he held the associate editor post for now defunct sister publication Boards, which focused on the advertising and commercial production industries. Before Boards, he served as editor of Canadian Music Network, a weekly music industry trade, and as music editor for HMV.com. As content director, he also oversees the development of content for the brand's market-leading events, the Realscreen Summit and Realscreen West, as well as new content initiatives.

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