Contributor Imprisoned in Syria

July 5th, 2012

Please help us Free Bassel, open source developer and CC volunteer

What open means to you
Bassel / joi / CC BY

On March 15, 2012, Bassel Khartabil was detained in a wave of arrests in the Mazzeh district of Damascus. Since then, his family has received no official explanation for his detention or information regarding his whereabouts. However, his family has recently learned from previous detainees at the security branch of Kafer Sousa, Damascus, that Bassel is being held at this location.

Bassel Khartabil, a Palestinian-born Syrian, 31, is a respected computer engineer specializing in open source software development, the type of contributions the Internet is built upon. He launched his career ten years ago in Syria, working as a technical director for a number of local companies on cultural projects like restoring Palmyra and Forward Syria Magazine.

Since his arrest, Bassel’s valuable volunteer work, both in Syria and around the world, has been stopped. His absence has been painful for the communities that depend on him. In addition, his family, and his fiancée whom he was due to marry this past April, have had their lives put on hold.

Bassel Khartabil has been unjustly detained for nearly four months without trial or any legal charges being brought against him. —

Statement of Support to Bassel, his family and friends.

Mozilla supports efforts to obtain the release of Bassel Khartabil (also known as Bassel Safadi), a valuable contributor to and leader in the technology community. Bassel’s expertise and focus across all aspects of his work has been in support of the development of publicly available, free, open source computer software code and technology. Through his efforts, the quality and availability of freely available and open technology is improved and technology is advanced.

Please help us #FREEBASSEL by signing the support letter at

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41 comments for “Contributor Imprisoned in Syria”

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    prometeo said on July 6th, 2012 at 10:51 am:

    At Whistler a similar case was exposed (a Curdish contributor persecuted in Turkey) but the official stance was to not take a stance. Now this: coherence is simply missing. Double standards are not helpful.

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    Prometeo, who is this contributor? It would be helpful if you informed us. (And what you mean by “Whistler”?)

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