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Syrian producer Orwa Nyrabia reported freed

Producer and pan-Arab DOX BOX film festival founder had been missing since August 23.

Syrian producer and founder of the pan-Arab DOX BOX Film Festival Orwa Nyrabia, who disappeared at Damascus airport three weeks ago, is reported to have been freed.

A simple message in Arabic was posted earlier today on a Facebook page set up in support of Nyrabia stating simply, “Owra is free”.

The International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam (IDFA), which Nyrabia has attended as a producer and jury member in the past, also ran the news on its website.

“Orwa Nyrabia was set free. At the moment there is no further news about his release and his situation,” the festival said a short posting.

It is believed that Nyrabia was arrested by Syrian authorities on August 23 but no details on where he has been or his liberation have emerged as yet.

Nyrabia is the co-founder of Damascus-based production company Proaction Film and the documentary-focused DOX BOX Film Festival alongside Diana El-Jeiroudi.

Launched in 2007, DOX BOX normally runs in Damascus, Tartous and Homs for the first two weeks of March and then tours other Arab cities as part of a pan-Arab cultural network.

Nyrabia and El-Jeiroudi are respected figures in the Arab filmmaking community and beyond for their tireless efforts to produce and promote Syrian cinema at home and abroad.

News of Nyrabia’s disappearance sparked outcry from the film industry across the world. The Toronto International Film Festival, the Cannes Film Festival, director Martin Scorsese and actor Robert de Niro and documentary maker all issued statements calling for his release.

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