The #WhereIsBassel campaign has spread globally. On March 19, 2016, marking the week of the 4th anniversary of Bassel’s arrest, people from all over the world asked together: #WhereIsBassel? London, Berlin, Paris, Toulouse, Sicily, Boston, San Francisco, Shenzen, Singapore and Beirut – all called out for the Syrian government to reveal Bassel’s whereabouts and send him free.
When Bassel returns home,
he will see these photos showing
his friends, lovers and supporters
calling out for him.
Bassel will know that
he has never been forgotten
for a second.
Notable animal rights campaigner Singky Soewadji was detained after a two year investigation into a letter published on Facebook in 2014. In it, he accused multiple members of the Indonesia Zoo Association of corruption in removing 420 animals from Surabaya zoo. The zoo, which itself has come under much criticism in recent years, has come to be known as the…
Vincent Osumo, a prominent Kenyan blogger known as General Osumo, was arrested for the second time over Facebook posts alleged to be ‘illegal publication‘. Osumo was arrested in May earlier this year under unclear circumstances, which stirred a public outcry on social media. The blogger was released the following day, but arrested again in July over critical comments that he published against MP Moses…
Nabeel Rajab, a 51-year-old prominent Bahraini opposition leader and the president of the Bahrain Centre for Human Rights, is facing trial over criticising Saudi involvement in Yemen on Twitter. Rajab was charged with “insulting a statutory body” and “spreading rumours during wartime”. If convicted, he is facing up to 15 years in prison under Bahrain’s penal code. Rajab was first arrested over the tweets in April 2015 and released a few months later…
Mohamed Tamalt, a 42-year-old British-Algerian blogger and journalist, was sentenced to two years imprisonment and 200,000 dinars ($1,800) fine over allegedly insulting President Abdelaziz Bouteflika and other Algerian officials on his Facebook account. Tamalt, who lives in London and writes for the Essiak El Aarabi online newspaper, was arrested in June 27 during a personal visit to Algeria. He has been detained in El Harrach prison in…
Six members of the online Egyptian satirical group Atfal al-Shawarea (or “Street Children”) were arrested over the course of early May after uploading numerous satirical videos to YouTube and Facebook, mocking the current Egyptian regime. Charges range from “religious contempt” to ‘incitement to participate in demonstrations and gatherings”, with additional accusations of using the Internet to promote terrorist ideas. The members…
An article by Jay Nordlinger on the Jimmy Wales Foundation at National Review:
Speaking of the Internet: Onstage at the Nye Theater, addressing the Oslo Freedom Forum, is Jimmy Wales, a co-founder of Wikipedia. Not everyone can use Wikipedia. Wales tells us that it’s blocked in China, among other places.
The speaker has a foundation, the Jimmy Wales Foundation, which is dedicated to freedom of expression, especially online. They highlight cases — specific human-rights cases, involving real and persecuted people — which is gratifying: It’s better to talk about individual cases than about human rights in general.
You know who was strongly of this view? Andrei Sakharov.
One question the Wales Foundation asks is, “Where is Bassel?” That would be Bassel Khartabil, who once led Creative Commons Syria. He was seized by the Syrian dictatorship in 2012. A few years later, they disappeared him (to read about his case, go here).
Also, what about Roya Saberinejad? She is a British citizen of Iranian origin who went back to her native land to visit family — and was imprisoned. Why? On Facebook, she had written a few critical words about the Iranian regime. She has since been subjected to the worst that that regime has to offer, which is hellish (to read about her, go here).
I’m glad, to say the least, that Wales and his foundation are doing this work.
Incidentally, he says something amusing. He says, “People often tell me, ‘I’d like to write you, but I can’t get a hold of you.’ I’m the easiest person in the world to get a hold of. Just Google ‘Jimmy Wales’s e-mail address.’”
Click here for the full article.