Bassel Khartabil, Beloved Technology Innovator, Arrested March 15, 2012. Executed October 2015. Death Confirmed August 2017.

Can anyone hear me?

04 November 2015

Translated from the Arabic, originally published on iamahumanstory.com

Can anyone hear me?… Return my husband to me, return my heart to me..

Every day she writes to him on her personal page on the social media website Facebook, as if he is still a friend who follows her in the virtual world, as if he could read what she writes, as if forgetting his absence and residence within an underground prison cell, she calls him repeatedly and occasionally asks her self what sort of food she’s going to make him when he returns, or where will she take him on a stroll, just to find her self going back and looking for his page, hoping he might have liked or commented on her posts.

Noura Ghazi Safadi is a syrian girl, she never imagined that she will one day dedicate her law degree to defending her husband, her partner in an emotion packed love story which was always on everyone’s tongue….a story of joy solidified on their wedding day, instead of bassel sharing her wedding pedestal….he was being tortured by a detective in a security facility as a result of his peaceful, non violent political activity, he does not own anything but his views in pursuit of the rise of his country, words cannot describe how that night was for Noura as she stands alone and waits for her beloved, and instead of coming through that door in his wedding suit which she picked carefully, she is approached by someone she no longer remembers who tells her “Bassel is not coming, he has been arrested.”

After that night, she spent 8 months searching for him from one prison facility to another…the fear within her was renewed when she learned that he was being held in one of the worst known federal persons in syria where it’s inmates suffer the most brutal kinds of torture, some of whom die of which, as per the testimony of previous inmates.

She lost a lot of weight and suffered from great psychological torture, she lived the details of her days as if she shared his suffering, she was sure he was still alive and will be let out, and since then she has been doing the impossible to insure his release.

Indeed her feelings were not far from the truth, she was informed that her beloved has been transferred to Adra prison and was released from it, except her happiness ws not long lived, for he had been sentenced in a dark room, in a military court in which he was not allowed to defend himself or have a lawyer present, he was given a sentence of 15 years which was formulated in mere minutes.

On her first visit he asked her to take her engagement ring and leave, instead of doing so she removed her ring from her right hand and put it on her left, and she did the same to his and said “Even if it was 20 years, even if you were given life I will not marry another, and if you’re released tomorrow I’ll wait for you, and if you’re released after 15 or 20 years I am yours”

Their marriage was a fracture to the bars of the political prison, she came to visit regularly and was the first of the visitors to arrive and the last to leave…every day she waited for her phone to ring on time, it was a special time for them despite it’s difficulty, they were lovers who ‘defied destiny’ in every way imaginable.

She ws accepting of his imprisonment despite being deprived emotionally and psychologically, all that mattered was that she could see him once a week, though she has not given up on trying to reduce his sentence, it has proved fruitless. They have lately been deprived from even these prison visits, for as she was told on her wedding day that he was arrested, she was told once more that the regime has arrested him again from his prison cell, and has lead him into an unknown location for an unknown reason, and Noura is taken back to her original moments of suffering when he disappeared for the first time, but the difference this time is they gave her her wedding ring and the rest of his personal belongings.

Noura has done everything she could to bring about her husband’s release, she has raised media campaigns which call for every humanitarian and international organisation, it did not seem to make a difference that her husband bassel is considered one of the most important electronic engineers in the region, who has global status in his line of work. It did not seem to matter how much he loved her and how it was her natural right to live happily with the one she loved.

Noura suffered tremendously when Bassel Al Sadafy first disappeared, she struggled to have her husband back and to accept the reality that she had a husband who lived behind bars, and today he disappears once again and she returns to her sorrows as she utters “Return my husband to me, return my heart to me..”