Bassel Khartabil is a former Creative Commons ambassador in Syria and a Mozilla contributor. He contributed to a lot of open source projects worldwide which includes Firefox, Wikipedia, Openclipart, Font Library, Fabricatorz and a lot more.

After the start of the Syrian Revolution back in 2011, he was arrested by the Syrian regime for “publishing materials about arresting activists”. The regime kept him moving from a prison to a prison.

Shortly after he was arrested in 2012, Foreign Policy named him as one of the top 100 global thinkers in the world for “opening up the Internet in Syria and vastly extending online access and knowledge to the Syrian people”.

A campaign called “Free Bassel” was launched to request immediate announcement about his place and releasing him from prison.

bassel khartabil

Khartabil’s family could rarely see him and contact him on the periods between 2012 and 2015. His fiancee, Noura, couldn’t even manage to celebrate their marriage outside prison. It would take them months to hear any news about him.

Unfortunately, the connection between Khartabil and his family was lost in 2015 after he was moved into a new prison. His family heard that an execution order was issued about Bassel. However, they couldn’t confirm the news and couldn’t know when and where it would happen.

No news came about him since then. However, today, his wife Noura, confirmed that he was executed in the Adra prison in Damascus back in October 2015 by the Syrian regime [Arabic post]:


Words are hard in my mouth, as I announce today in my name and Bassel’s family and my family, that his execution order was confirmed and took action after days from transferring him into Adra prison back in October, 2015. An end which suits a hero like him.

Thank you, because you killed my love.

Thank you, because of you, I was the revolution’s bride, and now I am a widow.

Oh Syria’s loss, oh Palestine’s loss, oh my loss..

Bassel has passed away leaving a long history of contributions to free Internet and OSS in Syria and the world. He shall not be forgotten for what he did. And his murderers should get their punishment one day.

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