Accessibility links

Breaking News

U.S. Condemns Execution of a Syrian Blogger and Activist

New Palmyra founder Bassel Khartabil was transferred from Adra Prison to an unknown location on October 3, 2015. (New

The United States condemned the execution of Syrian blogger and activist Bassel Khartabil Safadi by the Syrian regime.

In a statement, the U.S. State Department expressed outrage over “the repeated acts of brutality, including torture and extrajudicial executions, conducted by the Syrian regime.”

The regime of President Bashar al-Assad “bears responsibility for the widespread suffering, death and destruction it has inflicted on its own citizens,” the statement said.

Widow notified

Khartabil’s widow, Noura Ghazi Safadi, wrote on Facebook early this week that she has received confirmation that security services executed Khartabil in October 2015 after torturing him in prison.

Ghazi did not say in her Facebook message posted late Tuesday how she had confirmed her husband’s death.

Khartabil, a Palestinian-Syrian software pioneer, was arrested five years ago in Damascus.

Khartabil, who was 34 at the time of his death, ran a software development workspace in Damascus, which was known to the Syrian authorities, and was a leading contributor to Arabic Creative Commons, a framework for coding and legal rights, which promotes the open distribution of software and ideas, according to a Lebanese friend.

Creative Commons statement

Creative Commons confirmed his execution in a statement Wednesday. He was taken from the street in Damascus in March 2012 amid a wave of military arrests, Creative Commons said.

The London-based human rights group Amnesty International’s senior director of research, Anna Neistat, said “his death is a grim reminder of the horrors that take place in Syrian prisons every day.”