Where is Bassel?

Bassel Khartabil

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 and wife on a weekly basis.


On October 3, 2015, Bassel disappeared. Reports claimed that his name was stricken off the prison register and he was taken away by security forces from his cell to an unknown location. Bassel’s whereabouts is a mystery ever since.

Foreign Policy magazine named Bassel one of its Top 100 Global Thinkers of 2012, “for insisting, against all odds, on a peaceful Syrian revolution”. In March 2013, Index on Censorship awarded Bassel the 2013 Digital Freedom Award for his work using technology to promote an open and free Internet. Following his disappearance, the MIT Media Lab offered Bassel a research scientist position in the Media Lab’s Center for Civic Media.

The Creative Commons Board of Directors called for Bassel’s immediate and safe release in a resolution at its most recent meeting. In November 2015, Bassel was offered by the board a position as a Digital Cultural Preservation Fellow. His numerous and impactful contributions to the open web and the commons have always inspired collaboration, community and the sharing of culture and knowledge. As a Creative Commons Fellow, Bassel can continue the important work he started years ago.

Bassel, an open source software developer, has been a key contributor to projects that digitize, preserve, and share cultural heritage works. The #NEWPALMYRA project, co-founded by Bassel, is an online community platform and data repository dedicated to the capture, preservation, sharing and creative reuse of data about the ancient city of Palmyra. It features 3-D models of ruins from Palmyra. Bassel’s life project continues to develop these days by his friends, who are hoping and waiting for his safe return.



London: Marble Arch at 2pm.

Paris: Centre Georges Pompidou at 2pm.

Berlin: Alexanderplatz Berlin at 2pm.

San Francisco: Music Concourse, Golden Gate Park at 12pm.

Boston: The Copley Square at 3pm.

Sicily: DSPS University of Catania at 11am.

Sign and share the petition: http://chn.ge/2547WBZ

See photo gallery of #WhereIsBassel’s global events

The Jimmy Wales Foundation and the Internet community call the governments of the world to reach out to the Syrian authorities immediately and urge them to reveal Bassel’s condition and location to his family and legal representatives. We call the Syrian authorities to exercise clemency in his case.

Join the #WhereIsBassel Campaign

Bring Bassel home.

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