Tom Spurgeon's Web site of comics news, reviews, interviews and commentary

October 27, 2011

Ali Ferzat Shares In Sakharov Prize With Four Others

imageAccording to stories this morning in the European press, the Syrian cartoonist Ali Ferzat is one of five representatives of the Arab Spring movement to win the Sakharov Prize. That prize is awarded yearly to figures prominently fighting for freedom on the world stage.

Ferzat, a respected and widely honored cartoonist and particularly prominent in that part of the world, penned savage cartoons about the crackdown in Syria on protesters. This eventually led to an attempt by a group of thugs believed at the very least to have the tacit approval of the government to silence Ferzat by kidnapping and severely beating him, including a direct assault on the hands with which he draws. According to the occasional release from his web site, he's on the road to recovery.

The other people sharing in Ferzat's honor are the late Mohamed Bouazizi of Tunisia, Egypt's Asmaa Mahfouz, Libya's Ahmed al-Zubair Ahmed al-Sanusi, and fellow Syrian Razan Zeitouneh. Bouazizi was the man who set himself on fire in mid-December 2010, sparking the first wave of protests.

Past winners of the prize include Kofi Annan and Nelson Mandela.
posted 1:00 pm PST | Permalink

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