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This Is Important, You Should Know About It of the Day: Immensely popular Syrian political cartoonist Ali Ferzat — a noted critic of President Bashar al-Assad’s bloody opposition crackdown — has reportedly had both his hands broken by four masked gunmen as a warning to cease his anti-Assad activism.

Ferzat, who once counted Assad among his friends, was dragged out of his car by the unidentified thugs, forced into their jeep, and driven to an airport road outside of Damascus where he was beaten and burned before being bagged and tossed from the vehicle.

According to his son, the gunmen told Ferzat they were breaking his hands “to teach him not to draw against his ‘masters’.” Though initial reports claimed the gunmen were members of Assad’s security forces, Rami Abdul-Rahman of the London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights told the Associated Press the attackers’ identity “could not be confirmed.”

Ferzat’s official website was suspended for a time, but now appears to be back up. His Facebook page as well as a support page are both up and running. In addition, several of his cartoons can be seen in the video posted below.

According to the UN, at least 2,200 people have been killed by Syrian forces since mid-March. In a recent interview broadcast on Syrian television, Assad dismissed calls to step down

[ap via msnbc / guardian / wapo / atlantic / nyt.]

(via amyleona)

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