Human Rights Watch (HRW) said that the execution of cyber-activist Bassel Khartabil, also known as Bassel Safadi by Assad’s security services puts spotlight on the Assad regime’s “ghastly prison system.”
In a news updated published on Wednesday, HRW said that Bassel’s case is “a prime example of Syria’s horrific justice system. Not only did the authorities torture and execute him, they also caused suffering to his family by keeping his fate secret.”
“The [Assad] government has unlawfully detained thousands of Syrians, including many peaceful activists like Bassel, and thousands have died in Syria’s dungeons. Human Rights Watch has photos of almost 7,000 bodies who died in custody,” the watchdog group added.
“Bassel’s death should serve as a reminder that reforming Syria’s justice system is a key element of any political solution to the conflict, as is accountability for all perpetrators. A good start would be granting independent observers access to detention centers in Syria.”
Bassel, a Palestinian-Syrian computer engineer, used his expertise to advance freedom of speech in Syria. Foreign Policy magazine named Bassel one of its Top 100 Global Thinkers of 2012, “for insisting, against all odds, on a peaceful Syrian revolution.”
Amnesty International on Tuesday said that Bassel was executed in the prisons of the regime in 2015.
His wife, rights activist Nora Ghazi Safadi on Tuesday wrote on her Facebook page that her husband died just days after he was taken from Adra Prison near Damascus to an undisclosed location in Damascus on October 3, 2015.
Assad’s security forces detained Bassel in March 2012, and a relative said he was tortured in an unofficial detention facility run by Military Intelligence.
Born in 1981, Safadi was one of Syria’s leading pro-free speech and democracy activists. He was awarded the title of the Ambassador of Creative Commons for his contribution to the Mozilla projects. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department + Agencies)