Syrian cartoonist Ali Ferzat is the co-recipient of CRNI’s 2012 Award for Courage in Editorial Cartooning, sharing this year’s honor with Indian cartoonist Aseem Trivedi.Ali Ferzat was chosen as the award’s co-recipient for his stance against the Assad regime. As CRNI board member Matt Wuerker recounted in his article about Mr Ferzat for Time Magazine, “Ali Ferzat, 60, spent years drawing insightful cartoons, mostly staying between the prescribed lines of Syria’s state-sanctioned media. But confronted with the regime’s increasing brutality, he embraced the democracy movement and turned his lampoons on President Bashar Assad directly.”
For speaking out, thugs were ordered to send Ali a message. They kidnapped the cartoonist, beating him brutally and nearly to death, including intentionally breaking both his hands before throwing him out of a moving car.
After the attack, Ali made a second courageous and potentially life-threatening decision. He decided to make public what the Assad Regime had done to him. There was a global outcry, and a brief respite for Ferzat, who continued to draw as soon as his hands healed.