The widow of the Palestinian-Syrian software pioneer Bassel Khartabil said late Tuesday she has received confirmation that her husband was executed after being arrested five years ago by the Assad regime in Damascus.
Noura Ghazi Safadi wrote on Facebook that the security services executed Khartabil in October 2015 after torturing him in prison.
Khartabil, who also went by the name Bassel Safadi, was a champion and leading contributor of Arabic Creative Commons, a framework for coding and legal rights that promotes the open distribution of software and ideas, according to his Lebanese friend Dana Trometer.
He ran a software development workspace in Damascus, which was known to the Assad regime. Trometer says his trial was held in secret, and the cause for his arrest was never given.
Bassel Khartabil was named a Top Global Thinker by Foreign Policy magazine in 2012 and given the Digital Freedom Award by Index on Censorship in 2013.
In 2013, two members of the European Parliament hailed Khartabil for "opening up the internet in Syria and vastly extending online access and knowledge to the Syrian people."