Bassel Khartabil (Safadi)
Born: May 22, 1981 in Damascus, Syria
Bassel Khartabil (Arabic: باسل خرطبيل) also known as Bassel Safadi (Arabic: باسل صفدي) (born May 22, 1981 in Damascus) is a Palestinian Syrian open-source software developer. He is a political prisoner in Syria since being detained March 15, 2012, the one-year anniversary of the Syrian uprising. Originally imprisoned at Adra prison, on October 3, 2015, Bassel was transferred to an unknown location, likely a high-security prison for politically sensitive prisoners in order to be condemned by a military court. Since October 7, 2015 Human Rights Watch and 30 other human rights organizations have issued statements demanding to know Khartabil’s whereabouts and calling for his release.
Khartabil was born and raised in Syria, where he specializes in open source software development. He was the CTO and co-founder of the collaborative research company Aiki Lab and CTO of Al-Aous, a publishing and research institution dedicated to archaeology and cultural preservation in Syria. He has served as project lead and public affiliate for Creative Commons Syria, and contributed to Mozilla Firefox, Wikipedia, Openclipart, Fabricatorz, and Sharism. He is credited with “opening up the Internet in Syria and vastly extending online access and knowledge to the Syrian people.”
His most recent work includes 3D photorealistic reconstruction, most notably on the UNESCO world heritage site of Palmyra, Syria; source code for real time visualization; and the development with Fabricatorz for the web programming framework Aiki Framework.
Bachelors of Computer Science, University of Damascus (2001)
Masters of Software Engineering, Riga (2004)
- Foreign Policy 2012 list of Top Global Thinkers. Bassel named together with Rima Dali for “insisting, against all odds, on a peaceful Syrian revolution.”
- Index on Censorship’s Digital Freedom Award, March 21, 2013. Although still detained at the time in Adra Prison, Bassel was able to communicate his gratitude through Dana Trometer and Jon Phillips, who received the award on his behalf. Releasing a statement from his incarceration at Adra prison at the time, Bassel paid respect to “all the victims of the struggle for freedom of speech, and, especially for those non-violent youths who refused to carry arms and deserve all the credit for this award.”
- March 17, 2015: Creative Commons Board of Directors issues board resolution demanding for the release of Bassel Khartabil.
- New Palmyra, Founder and Board of Advisors
- Creative Commons Syria, Project Lead
- Aikilab Cultural Center, Founder
- Mozilla Firefox, Developer and Contributor
- Wikipedia Editor and Contributor
- Fabricatorz, Founding Member, Developer
- Openclipart, Developer
- Sharism, Founding Member
- Press site: http://freebassel.org/
- slate.fr: http://www.slate.fr/story/107927/bassel-khartabil-prisonnier-syrien-internet
- Electronic Frontier Foundation: https://www.eff.org/offline/bassel-khartabil
- Creative Commons: http://creativecommons.org/tag/bassel-safadi
- Change.org petition http://chn.ge/1LGpefC
For press references, please see: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bassel_Khartabil#References