Feeds

Mozilla Foundation and EFF join hunt for Syrian open source developer

One of our developers is missing

Intelligent flash storage arrays

The open source community and human rights organizations have joined forces to find a software developer who has been missing for months following the recent civil unrest in Syria.

Bassel Khartabil, a 31-year-old computer engineer, was the project leader of Aiki Framework, an open source tool for building web applications. He also contributed to various community-based online projects, including Creative Commons, Fabricatorz, Mozilla Firefox, Open Clip Art Library, Sharism, and Wikipedia.

He was arrested on 15 March 2012 in the Mazzeh district of Damascus, Syria's capital city, during the mass demonstrations that swept the country. His family says they have neither seen nor heard from him since, but news has reached them that he may be held in a security facility in Damascus' Kafar Souseh district.

Mitchell Baker, chair of the Mozilla Foundation, has issued a statement on behalf of the organization in support of the effort to free Khartabil, saying:

Bassel's expertise and focus across all aspects of his work has been in support of the development of publicly available, free, open source computer software code and technology. Through his efforts, the quality and availability of freely available and open technology is improved and technology is advanced.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation has also lent its support to the campaign, calling Khartabil's detainment "especially alarming" in light of a recent Human Rights Watch report documenting the use of torture in Syrian security facilities.

"EFF joins Bassel’s friends, family, and colleagues in calling for his release and condemns the Syrian government, which has held him for almost four months without charges or a trial," the organization said in a blog post.

Khartabil's supporters have launched an online petition, addressed to the Syrian government, urging his release. More than 1,000 supporters have signed the letter so far. In addition, the campaign encourages supporters to use the #freebassel hashtag on Twitter to raise awareness of the matter. ®

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

More from The Register

next story
Preview redux: Microsoft ships new Windows 10 build with 7,000 changes
Latest bleeding-edge bits borrow Action Center from Windows Phone
Google opens Inbox – email for people too thick to handle email
Print this article out and give it to someone tech-y if you get stuck
Microsoft promises Windows 10 will mean two-factor auth for all
Sneak peek at security features Redmond's baking into new OS
UNIX greybeards threaten Debian fork over systemd plan
'Veteran Unix Admins' fear desktop emphasis is betraying open source
Entity Framework goes 'code first' as Microsoft pulls visual design tool
Visual Studio database diagramming's out the window
Google+ goes TITSUP. But WHO knew? How long? Anyone ... Hello ...
Wobbly Gmail, Contacts, Calendar on the other hand ...
DEATH by PowerPoint: Microsoft warns of 0-day attack hidden in slides
Might put out patch in update, might chuck it out sooner
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.