We have been advocating for Bassel Khartabil (Bassel Safadi) through our #FREEBASSEL campaign for well over six months. Just recently there has been a flood of support thanks to the bolstering of Creative Commons, Electronic Frontier Foundation, and Amnesty International.
Droves of people from all over the world have been licking stamps, writing letters, and addressing the unlawful detainment and suspected ill-treatment of detainees in Syria.
— EFF (@EFF) October 31, 2012
Since’s Amnesty International’s Urgent Action alert focused predominantly on writing letters to ranking officials in the Syrian Arab Republic, we are making a tutorial for those of you who want to make your voices heard in you local city, state, and country about this vastly important international issue regarding basic human rights.
So here it is a how-to on contacting your representatives. The tutorial will focus on the process for the United States, though I image it will be quite similar in many of your countries as well.
- Internet search for the folks who represent you: State senators(select state) and local representatives (just type in your local zipcode)
- Write Letter, sometimes this is the hardest part so feel free to copy and paste the #FREEBASSEL template below
- Vote for people who will support what you believe in on November 6th from human rights to health care to tax reform. Remember ultimately YOU are in power
Dear [Representative, President, Secretary of State, Senator],
I am writing to you to raise awareness about a topic of recent concern to me, and to seek information about [insert your nation here] American policies and initiatives in the Middle East.
As my representative, I hope that it is appropriate for me to raise this international issue with you.
Earlier this year I added my name to an online petition [http://freebassel.org] in support of the imprisoned Syrian software engineer, Bassel Khartabil, who has been detained in his home country since March 15, 2012.
The campaign surrounding this petition has received support from prominent Human Rights, Internet, and Free Culture organizations, such as Amnesty International, the Mozilla Foundation, Creative Commons, and the Electronic Frontier Foundation.
Recently, I have tried to raise awareness about this case but, as merely a concerned citizen, there are obvious limits on what I can realistically do.
It is my understanding that he has been detained at the Military Intelligence Branch in Kafr Sousseh without access to a lawyer or his family, and that no charges have been raised against him. In addition, I have heard that he has been tortured and possibly denied access to the medical care which he requires as a diabetic.
I do not know Bassel personally, but I have been made aware of his good work in promoting Syrian culture and heritage. Learning about Bassel’s plight, I feel that I must express sadness at the ill treatment he has reportedly received.
I hope that you can see the need for compassion in this case, and trust that you can bring your influence to bear on investigating and improving his situation.
Are there existing initiatives to resolve human rights cases such as this one in Syria? If so, is it possible to report this case to the organization responsible? If not, will you suggest some organizations that can advise and support efforts to obtain the release of Bassel, and other prisoners like him at the international level?
[Your Name Here]
Here is the link to the Urgent Action Alert from Amnesty International
[ http://www.amnestyusa.org/sites/default/files/uaa26412.pdf ]
In the United States, we are on the verge of a very important election and now is the time to make your voice heard. Write letters, make phone calls, send emails, start by acting locally and thinking globally.
Thank you to all the folks who have sent copies of their letters to email@example.com with permission to edit them and share. Please continue to do so.Comments closed