Bassel Khartabil (aka Safadi) gets a research position at MIT Media Lab

This is the news of the day: our friend Bassel Khartabil, jailed by the Syrian regime since March 2012 (and recently moved to an unknown location) has just been offered a research position with the Center for Civic Media at the MIT Media Lab.

Bassel’s latest project, which is about reconstructing the ancient city of Palmyra in 3D, was launched few days ago by a group of friends under the name of “#new Palmyra”. Wired has recently reported about the project and the huge campaign which is growing around the world to protest the arbitrary arrest of Bassel and his condition of being incommunicado since last October 3rd.

Bassel’s family, friends, colleagues, and people around the world who do not know him in person but know him through his work as an advocate for a free and open Internet have been mobilizing since. Love and support for Bassel’s cause are growing faster and faster everywhere in the world and on the web.

And now it’s truly amazing to see how the MIT Media Lab, whose director Joi Ito is a dear friend and former colleague at Creative Commons, are celebrating Bassel’s efforts in advocating for free culture, and in protecting and preserving Syria’s cultural heritage.

We will never forget Bassel and what he did for the Internets, for Syria, and for all of us.

We’re looking forward to seeing you back home, ya Bassel, ya dude.


(by Muid Latif)

Petition Online:

Freebassel Campaign:
Twitter: @freebassel
Hashtags: #newpalmyra #freebassel #missingbassel

#newpalmyra on Al Arabiyya news today



Bassel Khartabil aka Safadi, my dear friend from the old days in Damascus and lead of the Creative Commons community in Syria, has been living in a Syrian jail for almost 4 years now. He was arrested in March 2012 without a formal accusation or the right to see a lawyer.

Today we hear from his wife and dear friend Noura Ghazi that Bassel has been moved to an unknown location, probably to be judged by a military court. We do not have any more detail but we really fear for his life.

The more attention we can get on his case on the web, on mainstream media, the better to protect him from any abuse from the regime and secret services side.

Please help us spread awareness, please help us #freebassel

You can find more info here: