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Brutal Government Crackdown Claims the Hands of Syrian Cartoonist

Famed Arab cartoonist Ali Ferzat is recovering in the hospital after he was beaten by pro-Assad thugs in Damascus late last week

Famed Arab cartoonist Ali Ferzat is recovering in the hospital after he was beaten by pro-Assad thugs in Damascus late last week, as part of a brutal crackdown of the Syrian Uprising that has killed over 2,200 people since anti-government protests began five months ago.

A recent Ferzat cartoon, showing Syrian President Bashar al-Assad attempting to hitch a ride with Libya's Muammar Gaddafi.

According to reports, Ferzat was forced out of his car and beaten in Damascus by four masked men. The regime’s thugs focused their attention on Ferzat’s hands, beating them furiously and breaking two fingers on his left hand – a clear message that he should stop drawing. Farzat’s assailants also broke his right arm and bruised his left eye before dumping him on the side of the road. The American Embassy in Damascus called it “a government-sponsored, targeted, brutal attack.”

“They are afraid of giving symbols to the Syrian uprising,” said Murhaf Jouejati, the Professor of Middle East Studies at George Washington University. “This is reflective of their fear of losing power, which is why they want to take out anybody who can carry large audiences.”

Ferzat’s cartoons have been deeply critical of the harsh suppression of the five-month uprising in Syria. Just last week, he published a cartoon on his website showing Syrian President Bashar al-Assad hitch-hiking a ride out of town with a fleeing Muamar Gadhafi. Many of his cartoons directly criticize President al-Assad, even though caricatures of the president are forbidden in Syria.

While making empty promises about having a dialogue with the Syrian people, the Assad regime continues to carry out brutal attacks against protesters. According to Sebastian Usher, the BBC’s Arab affair’s analyst, Ferzat’s beating is a sign that the Syrian authorities “tolerance for dissent is touching zero.” Just a month ago, Ibrahim al-Qashoush, the composer of a popular anti-regime song, was found dead with his vocal chords removed.

Here’s a video from Al-Jazeera English where you can see pictures of Ferzat, as well as some of his cartoons:

Cartoonists from across the world are coming to the aid of Ferzat, drawing their own cartoons in response to the brutal crackdown. I’ll post them here as we receive them.

Daryl Cagle / msnbc.com
Bill Day / Cagle Cartoons
Olle Johansson / Cagle Cartoons
Jiho / Cagle Cartoons
Rick McKee / Augusta Chronicle
Gilmar
Sherif Arafa / Alittihad Newspaper
Nate Beeler / Washington Examiner
Pedro Molina/ El Nuevo Diario (Nicaragua)
Giacomo Cardelli / Italy

By Daryl Cagle

Daryl Cagle is the founder and owner of Cagle Cartoons, Inc. He is one of the most widely published editorial cartoonists and is also the editor of The Cagle Post.

10 replies on “Brutal Government Crackdown Claims the Hands of Syrian Cartoonist”

Actually, the Assad regime had/has a lot in common with Saddam’s Iraq.  Both regimes made a habit of suppressing Islamic extremists (indeed, Saddam buried them in mass graves).  Both regimes could be bought/bribed.   Both regimes depended on the political support of distinct minorities.  Of course, both regimes would not tolerate much in the way of internal dissent and depended on secret police and informants, somewhat like Stalinist Russia or the Third Reich.

Still, no matter how attractive such regimes may be to conservatives (remember Cheyney’s ‘kissy-kissy’ with Saddam?), their lack of internal political support tends to mean that in the long run they are not stable.  Current policy of distancing the United States from such regimes may be unpopular with the oil lobby, but probably is the smart thing to do.

Actually, the Assad regime had/has a lot in common with Saddam’s Iraq.  Both regimes made a habit of suppressing Islamic extremists (indeed, Saddam buried them in mass graves).  Both regimes could be bought/bribed.   Both regimes depended on the political support of distinct minorities.  Of course, both regimes would not tolerate much in the way of internal dissent and depended on secret police and informants, somewhat like Stalinist Russia or the Third Reich.

Still, no matter how attractive such regimes may be to conservatives (remember Cheyney’s ‘kissy-kissy’ with Saddam?), their lack of internal political support tends to mean that in the long run they are not stable.  Current policy of distancing the United States from such regimes may be unpopular with the oil lobby, but probably is the smart thing to do.

for more information , Assad Regime  had used to boom mosques and preventing people from saying prayers , moreover ,, if someone is religious ,, that means she or he is watched by detectives !!

Syria is leaded by a secular regime which is 100% anti Islam and supported by Russia and China ,,
please read more before judging people or situation !!

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