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Widow confirms open software pioneer was executed in Syria

Widow confirms open software pioneer was executed in Syria

BEIRUT (AP) — The widow of the Palestinian-Syrian software pioneer Bassel Khartabil says she has received confirmation that her husband was executed after being arrested five years ago by Syrian authorities in Damascus.

Noura Ghazi Safadi wrote on Facebook late Tuesday 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 Syrian authorities. Trometer says his trial was held in secret, and the cause for his arrest was never given.