I've previously written about Ali Ferzat, the prize-winning Syrian political cartoonist I met in San Francisco. He is hospitalised with a broken hand and multiple injuries, after being attacked early this morning in Damascus by Syrian government-sponsored thugs.
The assault on Ali Ferzat is the latest in a series of Syrian government attacks against its own citizens, who seek freedoms and reforms. Today the Syrian government suspended Ali Ferzat's website.
Ali's work is published in Le Monde and numerous publications and has been exhibited around the world.
A hand-drawn and inscribed image of Ali's signature "The pen is mightier" is one of my prize possessions. I also have a triptych of his political cartoons framed.
Ali is an inspiration, not only as an artist, but an activist. In an interview last week with the Associated Press, Ali noted: "There are two things in this life that cannot be crushed: the will of God and the will of the people." His views are shared widely in Syria, where Assad continues to suppress protesters and dissenters.
In his concern to escape the fate of his counterparts in Egypt, Tunisia and now Libya, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has launched a brutal and murderous campaign, killing or arresting thousands of dissidents. His actions have been condemned by human rights organisations, the United Nations and world leaders.
I hope and pray Ali Ferzat will heal quickly and return home to his family and friends - and continue his important work. I also hope Syrians ultimately will be free of Assad's iron-fisted rule. Here is a link to Ali's most recent cartoon (press the Display Media button), which says it all.
Previous mentions of Ali Ferzat on Paris Parfait: