Reporters Without Borders

The famous cartoonist Ali Ferzat abducted and badly beaten

The famous cartoonist Ali Ferzat was abducted by masked members of the security services at around 4:30 a.m. in Omeyyades Square, in the centre of Damascus, as he drove home from his office. His captors broke his left hand, which he uses to draw, and burned his body with lit cigarettes. He was dumped at the side of a road near the airport with a bag over his head a few hours later. Some of his drawings and other personal effects were confiscated.

He was transferred the next day to a private clinic to be operated on. He said he had received threatening phone calls warning him to stop criticizing the government. A demonstration in support of Ferzat was organized outside his home.

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