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Bassel Khartabil’s Second Birthday in Prison

Elliot Harmon, May 22nd, 2013

If you subscribe to Creative Commons’ newsletter or follow us on Twitter and Facebook, you’re likely familiar with the story of Bassel Khartabil, our friend and longtime CC volunteer who’s been in prison in Syria since March 2012. Today, on the second birthday that Bassel has spent in prison, friends of Bassel and members of the open community are taking a moment to reflect on his situation and call for his release.

The Index on Censorship, which honored Bassel in March with the Digital Freedom Award, has compiled a collection of birthday wishes for Bassel:

I just want him free, I pray for him to be free and I pray for all his friends who believe and work on Bassel’s freedom. – Bassel’s mother

It is your birthday. It is not a day of happiness — yet. But when justice is done, and you are released from your wrongful imprisonment, all of us will celebrate with enormous happiness both this day, and every day that you have given us as an inspiration for hope across the world. – Larry Lessig, founder of Creative Commons

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Our friend Jon Phillips, organizer of the #freebassel campaign, has launched a project called FREEBASSEL SUNLIGHT. In Jon’s words, “Please help shine some sunlight on Bassel by doing some novel research on his situation, where he is located, and help connect the dots of his situation and life.”

Artist and filmmaker Niki Korth recently developed a game that uses quotations from Bassel to start conversations about free and open communication, the conflict in Syria, and other topics. Niki has been publishing the playing cards online as well as videos of people playing the game.

Earlier this week, Niki led a few of us at CC in the game. You can watch our responses to several of her questions on her Vimeo page.

In this video, CC CEO Cathy Casserly voices our shared hope that we’ll see Bassel soon:

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3 Responses to “Bassel Khartabil’s Second Birthday in Prison”

  1. Muchos ánimos y apoyo para su familia ;)

  2. Thank you for this post. It felt sympathy and sorrow for this young man’s situation. He was to have been married in April 2012! He should be celebrating his wedding anniversary, not be detained in prison, with no charges, no known date of release!

    I read the Fabricatorz post (not such a good website name, as the word has dual meanings, one of which does not connote trust), as well as the excellent Etherpad entry on Mozilla, titled “freebassel”. Per the Etherpad post, I will update Bassel’s Wikipedia article (it was listed as an action item). I perused the article change history briefly. The article is definitely tended with care and respect. I found one notable omission, which I will rectify, along with the supporting source reference. I’ll keep an eye on Bassel’s page, and think of him when I say a little barucha tonight.

    Please update the CreativeCommons weblog, if favorable news regarding Bassel’s status becomes available?
    Thank you.

    P.S. I noticed that Bassel was a regular contributor to Wikipedia. I wonder if its foundation, WMF, could assist in propagating Bassel’s situation, so that it receive more public attention? That was a concern mentioned in other posts, how no one is aware (including me, until now).

  3. Diseño Web says:

    Que gran creatividad, aprecio ese talento, muchas felicidades Dios los continue bendiciendo en ese Don tan maravilloso. Nosotros aplicamos en el diseño web creatividad de otro tipo, y es agradable poder expresarse. Saludos

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