Free Bassel, Free Culture

#FREEBASSEL / Kennisland / CC BY-SA

Creative Commons CEO Catherine Casserly wrote a blog post for the Huffington Post for the one-year anniversary of Bassel Khartabil’s arrest.

Since March 15, 2012, our colleague and friend Bassel Khartabil has been in prison in Syria, held without charges and not allowed legal representation. Bassel is an open-source coder and leader of the Syrian Creative Commons program. He believes in the open Internet, and has spent the last ten years using open technologies to improve the lives of Syrians. Not only did Bassel build the CC program in his country; he worked tirelessly to build knowledge of digital literacy, educating people about online media and open-source tools.

Our work requires us to spend a lot of time looking at nuanced details — whether a certain piece of legislation supports open access to research, for example, or how to mark creative works for easier search and filtering. Bassel’s imprisonment has been a stark reminder that our work is part of a larger, global ecosystem. For Bassel and others around the world who fight for open, a free internet is not a theoretical matter. Real lives hang in the balance.

Today, there are demonstrations and getherings happening all over the world in honor of Bassel. Learn more at

7 thoughts on “Free Bassel, Free Culture”

  1. This was great! Bassel will truly be blessed for his diligence in using the Intrnet as a sacred communication device. That being said we know that are 1st world know that it’s mostly not used sacredly. Nonetheless, free Bassel and free the noble ones in Syria who will use it for building The Kingdom of God on The Earth.

  2. Aha, Syria is hell at the moment and it`s a shame to see that someone who educates people and has a family lands in jail, with no charge !!! I say, let him out or we get him out.

  3. Bassell be released and the Syrian Govt should uphold the morale of its people by correcting its stand.

  4. I know less about this, but I come thrilled with this news. Life in prison is not something sought after by people, but it must be lived punishment.

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