Syrian’s most prominent editorial cartoonist, Ali Ferzat, was kidnapped and beaten by Syrian security forces as they crack down on vocal dissidents.
Fame has in the past offered a measure of protection from the full force of the regime, allowing outspoken cultural figures to get away with more criticism than others. But in recent weeks, a string of artists, writers and actors have been arrested.
“Ferzat’s arrest is part of an intimidation campaign by security forces who have increasing leeway,” Ammar Abdulhamid, a US-based dissident and son of the actor Mona Wasif said. “At this stage fame may be more of a danger than a protection because the regime does not want any prominent figure to come to the fore and provide a public face for the revolution.”
Ali was dumped bleeding at the side of a road and was discovered by passerby.
UPDATED: The Washington Post has photos of Ali in the hospital. The security forces broke his hands.