December 12, 2012 | By Parker Higgins

Open Source Developer Bassel Khartabil Moved to Syrian Military Prison

EFF has been calling since July for the immediate release of open source software engineer and Creative Commons volunteer Bassel Khartabil, detained in Syria since March of this year. Many other groups and thousands of individuals have professed support for Bassel, expressing deep concerns to the Syrian authorities and signing onto a letter of support.

Unfortunately, his situation may have taken a turn for the worse recently. FreeBassel.org, a news source run by a coalition of his friends and supporters, is reporting he has been transferred to a military prison where he will be denied a lawyer. Needless to say, this development is both dangerous and worthy of urgent attention.

As we said in an October letter to Syrian officials:

EFF urges the people detaining Kartabil to grant him immediate access to his family, a lawyer of his choice, and all necessary medical treatment. We urge you to protect him from torture and other ill-treatment. Additionally, we call on you to release Khartabil, unless he is promptly charged with an internationally recognizable criminal offence and tried in proceedings that respect international fair trial standards.

EFF renews that commitment, alongside Amnesty International, Creative Commons, and Mozilla, to urging those responsible for detaining Bassel to release him.

Members of our community can find updates about Bassel's situation searching for the #freebassel hashtag, and can support the call for his release by joining the letter of support at FreeBassel.org.


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