Syria bans filmmaker from travel to Paris

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The security services have banned Syrian filmmaker Mohamed Malas from traveling to Paris for work, a local human rights group said on Monday.

The security services informed Mohamed Malas on Sunday that he had been banned from traveling since Sept. 19, the National Organization of Human Rights in Syria said.

It said the 63-year-old film director was at Damascus airport at the time preparing to fly to Paris.

Malas, who is working on a children s film for Al-Jazeera television, has requested the ban be lifted and complained it was causing him material and moral damage by preventing him from travel to Paris and Rome for work, it said.

The filmmaker, who has directed a documentary on Syrian political detainees, told AFP that he had met with the security services in Damascus to discuss his position on freedom of speech and human rights.

I asked for the ban to be lifted and they promised to study it, he said.

The rights group condemned the ban as illegal and unconstitutional because it came from the security services without any explanation.

Malas is known in the Arab world for the movie Dreams of the City and several documentaries. -AFP

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