London — Sunday, 22 May 2016 — The #FREEBASSEL Campaign launched three initiatives, including #happybdaybassel social media campaign, The Cost of Freedom Book, and “Waiting…” A Prose Book, to celebrate the 35th birthday of loved Syrian technology innovator, Bassel Khartabil.
#FREEBASSEL Campaign Leader, Dana Trometer said, “Sunday, May 22 is Bassel’s 35th Birthday. He has been jailed for more than four years without any official legal proceedings or process, and disappeared now for more than six months in Damascus, Syria. Today, do something creative and post to twitter and facebook with: #happybdaybassel tag for Bassel.”
The campaign also is launching two books online for download, and in print on demand. The first book is Cost of Freedom: A Collective Inquiry, a book demanding freedom for Bassel Khartabil and an introspection on the costs of participation in free knowledge movements. The book was written in Pourrières, France from November 2nd to 6th, 2015, with contributions from 45 free knowledge activists around the world, including Creative Commons founder and former U.S. presidential candidate Lawrence Lessig and Khartabil’s spouse, Noura Ghazi Safadi, and uncle, Faraj Rifait.
“Four years is a long time for a computer person to not use a computer,” said free knowledge activist Mike Linksvayer. “In this time a free Bassel could have written thousands of lines of code to help humanity, and introduced thousands of people to free knowledge movements. The extreme cost Bassel is paying and the cost to society of not enjoying Bassel’s contributions are incomparable, but both are real. Bassel inspired us to write about the costs and conflicts of free knowledge in our lives, however incomparable. Free Bassel!”
In addition, Waiting…” A Prose Book by Noura Ghazi Safadi, Bassel’s wife, is now for the first time available as both an ebook and physical book, with many updates and improvements from the author and editor.
“Waiting is a testament to Noura’s courage and devotion. It is a love song which Noura wrote and Bassel translated into English while imprisoned. Now their words stand side-by-side in a new print edition,” stated Christopher Adams, editor and publisher of the book.
Both books are available in electronic and print formats for reading, downloading, sharing, and purchase at http://costoffreedom.cc and http://waiting4bassel.cc. Both are dedicated to the public domain with the “CC Zero” license (CC0-1.0).
The #FREEBASSEL campaign was launched in 2012 following the wrongful imprisonment and persecution of Bassel Khartabil, a celebrated Palestinian Syrian open-source software developer. Bassel Khartabil was a beloved technology innovator, a contributor to global software and culture communities like Creative Commons, Mozilla Firefox, Wikipedia, Red Hat Fedora, Openclipart, Font Library, and Fabricatorz. The #FREEBASSEL campaign remains dedicated to commemorating Bassel's life and promoting his values.