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Support for Ali Ferzat grows; new details emerging

Syrian cartoonist Ali Ferzat was beaten and hands broken by Syrian thugs in an attempt to quiet his work last week. The brutality of the attack has gained international attention. The US State Department has condemned the act.

Victoria Nuland, US state department spokeswoman, called the beating (and other such tactics against the Syrian people) an act of terror

“While making empty promises about dialogue with the Syrian people, the Assad regime continues to carry out brutal attacks against peaceful Syrians trying to exercise their universal right to free expression.

“We demand that the Assad regime immediately stop its campaign of terror through torture, illegal imprisonment and murder,” Nuland added.

According to a report on NewsOK.com, Syrian people are expressing solidarity with the artist. The Daily Star reports that The Lebanese Writers’ Union has condemned the attack. I posted statements by the AAEC and the Cartoonists Rights Network International on Friday.

From Ali, or at least his friends who are operating his website at the moment, we get a better account of the attack. The picture given is that after Ali was dumped on the road to the airport, Ali tried to crawl to the other side of the road. It’s not clear if he was dumped in the middle of the road or to one side, but the account depicts Ali trying to crawl across the road where he can flag or signal someone to stop. The difficulty in the task is the speed of the cars passing and many drivers who did see him in his bloodied state would drive away in panic. It appears from the account a pickup loaded with workers heading into the city was the vehicle that stopped and carried and placed him into the back bed and took him to the hospital. (See original source, translated source.)

Other updates:

Egyptian editorial cartoonist Sherif Arafa has posted a cartoon on Cartoonist Movement in support of Ali.

Supporters of the cartoonist have created a Facebook page with gruesome photos of Ali after the attack. His website has posted photos of his bloodied clothes, and a candle-light vigil.

Here’s an early news report on the attack by Al Jazeera.

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