Syria: Cartoonist’s Hands Broken


syria-caroonistAli Ferzat is Syria’s best known political cartoonist, a mixture of the UK’s Steve Bell or Gerald Scarfe. At 4am on Thursday morning he was picked up off the street in Damascus and dragged into a 4×4 by armed masked men.

They beat him as they drove to the airport road and said: “We will break your hands so that you’ll stop drawing.”

Then they broke both the bones in both of his hands. His beard was singed, a bag was put over his head before he was dumped by the roadside and told: “This is just a warning.”

Mr Ferzat is now in the hospital.

Relatives, who spoke to the Associated Press, say they don’t know the identity of the assailants but they suspect they were government thugs responding to the cartoonist’s public stance against the regime of President Assad – and the recent crackdown on anti-regime demonstrations.

This week he published an online cartoon showing the Syrian president with a suitcase hitching a ride with Libya’s Colonel Gaddafi. Caricatures of the Syrian president are forbidden by law, and although Ferzat has drawn the president before, the latest one may have been a cartoon too far. His website, is now inaccessible.

Earlier this month Ferzat told AP: “There are two things in this life that cannot be crushed… the will of God and the will of the people.”
He had his hands crushed, but it is doubtful his spirit is broken. The warning given to him by the thugs sounded like a death threat. The world’s dictators always fear being ridiculed and they will go to any lengths to prevent it.

{Sky News/ Newscenter}


  1. Personally, I really like political cartoons. I read them as much as I can in the sites on my ipad. This is a tragedy and it shows the power of a pen over the minds of the imbecules. They could not do anything to fight the fellow in a forum so they “silenced” him for now. Political cartoons are very effective ways of social change.