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

August 25, 2011

Multiple Reports: Cartoonist Ali Ferzat Beaten By Syrian Forces

Passersby found a bleeding Ali Ferzat on Airport Road in Damascus early this morning. The story to hit international wires is that the outspoken cartoonist and well-known Syrian cultural figure was picked up by masked men believed by those inside Syria to be members of the regime's security forces, beaten, and left on the road where he was discovered by others.

Ferzat, the former satirical magazine publisher now a gallery owner in central Damascus, has long worked at the outer edges of speech and expression as allowed in Syria. He began drawing the recent and still-ongoing uprising last March, and has appeared on television where he was severely critical of the current regime and its crackdown on protesters.

What happened to the cartoonist, whose international reputation is probably at its most intense in the region, where he is a much-admired cartoonist in several countries, is being interpreted as a sign that the regime is now working against artists that publicly advocate against the regime even if their newsworthiness might lead to bad publicity.

Ferzat is 60 years old.
posted 11:30 am PST | Permalink

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