This story out of Syria reminds just how awesome having a free press is. The AP reports:
Masked gunmen dragged Syria’s best-known political cartoonist from his car before dawn Thursday, beat him severely and broke both his hands as a warning to stop drawing just days after he compared Syria’s president to Moammar Gadhafi, a relative and activists said.
Hospitalized with serious injuries, 60-year-old Ali Ferzat has become the most famous victim of the repression of Syria’s five-month uprising. The attack on him was a stark reminder that no Syrian is immune to the crackdown.
“This is just a warning,” the gunmen told Ferzat, according to a relative who asked that her name not be used for fear of reprisals. “We will break your hands so that you’ll stop drawing.”
Of course, many have suffered much greater harm than Ferzat in the months since Syrians rose up in revolt against Bashar Al-Assad. More than 2,200 people have been killed since Al-Assad’s thugs, official and unofficial, started their crackdown on protesters.
But maybe Ferzat’s story will resonate more profoundly than all those lost lives.