NOW Lebanon reports:

The Syrian regime has made itself clear: if you have a voice, it will slit your throat, and if you use your hands to challenge the authority of President Bashar al-Assad, he will have you beaten in an attempt to render your talent useless.

Syrian cartoonist Ali Ferzat was severely beaten after masked security force members and pro-regime thugs grabbed him in Ummayad Square in the capital of Damascus on Wednesday afternoon.

(See more photos of Ferzat after the attack in this Facebook photo album.)

"The attackers stole the contents of his briefcase, including his drawings and other personal belongings," the LCC's Omar Idlbi said in a statement. "He was beaten hard, notably on his hands. Passersby found him on the road to the airport and he was taken to hospital," he added.

The cartoonist has been sending out tweets regularly challenging Assad’s claim that the protesters are “terrorists” involved in a conspiracy to bring Syria down.

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