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#FastforBassel: Campaign Launched for Syrian Netizen Facing Military Trial

Categories: Syria, Middle East & North Africa, Activism, Advocacy, Campaign, Free Expression, Human Rights, Legal Threats, Threatened Voices

This post is part of our special coverage Syria Protests 2011/12 [1].

Bassel Khartabil, also known as Bassel Safadi, is on military trial [2] in Syria, where he is denied a lawyer. The open source software engineer and Creative Commons volunteer has been in jail since March. Supporters around the world have just launched a #FastforBassel campaign on Twitter to raise awareness about his case.

Spearheaded by Mauritanian activist Naser Weddady, the campaign is likely to gain a lot of momentum, as more people sign up to fast for a day to draw attention to Safadi's grave situation and press for his release.

On Twitter, Weddady first announced he would fast for Safadi in a tweet:

@weddady [3]: I will be fasting on December 19th in solidarity with Bassel Safadi. Who will join me? #FastForBassel #FreeBassel

Bassel Khartabil (Safadi) [4]

Bassel Khartabil (Safadi). Photograph by Joi Ito (CC BY 2.0)

Soon, Lebanese blogger Mohamad Najem said he would fast [5] too. Weddady suggested the following:

@weddady [6]: .@MoNajem Mo, how about you fast on the following day so we can have a fast-chain until Bassel is free #FreeBassel

Next a Doodle [7] was up for those interested in fasting in support of Bassel to sign.

Najem writes:

We are launching a chain-fast to support our friend Bassel Safadi & to raise awareness about his plight since his arrest more than 9 months in Syria. The regime security forces transferred him to face the infamous “field courts”– A military summary trial where defendants are not allowed to have an attorney nor the right to appeal their sentences. We we will start fasting from tomorrow until his release. Every day one volunteer will fast to make a fast-chain of Bassel's friends and supporters of free speech

Join Weddady, Najem and Creative Commons co-founder [8] Larry Lessig [9] in this chain fast.

For more information, please check out freebassel.org [10]

This post is part of our special coverage Syria Protests 2011/12 [1].