Syria arrests film-maker who helped victims of crackdown

AMMAN - Security forces in Syria have arrested a documentary film-maker who helped people made homeless or jobless by troops loyal to President Bashar Assad, his friends said on Friday, part of an apparent crackdown on the country's secular intelligentsia.
Arwa Nairabiya - who founded the "Damascus Dox Box" documentary film festival - was arrested at Damascus airport on Thursday evening before boarding a plane to Cairo, fellow film-makers and relatives said.
The 35-year-old was part of a new generation of Syrian film-makers and had defied a state ban on culture before the revolt against Assad began 17 months ago.
"It seems it is a crime to establish an independent cinema movement in Syria," said fellow Syrian director Ahmad Malas, in a video statement recorded at an undisclosed location outside Syria.