Syrian political cartoonist brutally beaten after mocking president

The New York Times
Syria’s leading political cartoonist was hospitalized with multiple bone fractures after masked gunmen abducted and beat him, then dumped him on the side of a road. The Times notes that the attack on Ali Farzat came days after he published a cartoon showing Syrian President Bashar al-Assad “hitching a ride out of town with Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi of Libya, who was toppled from power this week.” Farzat has been critical of Assad since the start of the Syrian uprising in March. The Times quotes a friend, Ayad Sharbaji, who visited Farzat in the hospital:

“They told him as they were burning his beard, ‘We’ll see what you will draw from now on,’ ” Mr. Sharbaji said. “ ‘How dare you disobey your masters?’ ”

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