Troubling news coming out of Syria about the death of Bassel Khartabil, the Wikipedian and Head of Creative Common in Syria, who has been imprisoned in Syria since March 15, 2012. Bassel was reportedly executed shortly after his disappearance in 2015, but no formal information was ever given to his family and loved ones. Bassel is a Palestinian Syrian national whom his…
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.
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.
An editorial by Jimmy Wales Foundation published on The Guardian:
“Khartabil is a member of the Wikipedia community, a true believer in free knowledge and freedom of expression. His arbitrary arrest, torture and rumoured death sentence are not only grave violations of International Human Rights Law, but also a significant blow to our shared values of internet freedom and free speech”
Click here for the full editorial.
Bassel Khartabil has been imprisoned in Syria since March 15, 2012. Bassel is a Palestinian Syrian national whom his love of technology might have got him into trouble in Syria, as the revolution of 2011 has taken place. Bassel, the lead of Creative Commons Syria, had been detained in an undisclosed location for 9 months until he was transferred to Adra prison, where he finally gained access to see his family…