Rosenthal appalled at beating of Syrian cartoonist

Foreign minister Uri Rosenthal is appalled at the beating of Ali Ferzat, a well-known Syrian cartoonist and the recipient in 2002 of the Prince Claus Award. ‘This shows once more that the Syrian regime is resorting to extreme repression,’ Mr Rosenthal said. ‘Whenever a critical note is struck, it is stifled with violence. This confirms what UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay reported earlier to the Security Council.’

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is raising this issue with the Syrian ambassador. The minister is pressing the EU to call the Syrian regime to account once more for its failure to respect human rights and fundamental freedoms.

According to members of the Syrian opposition, Mr Ferzat was on his home from his office when he was taken away by agents of the security forces, who aimed their blows mainly at the artist’s hands and arms.