' “Akram Raslan is a martyr, and a witness to the fact that the regime and Islamic State are two sides of one axe,” cartoonist Ali Ferzat wrote on his Facebook page following the news. “They both represent the death of art and of thought.”
Raslan was arrested by Assad’s mukhabarat agents on October 2, 2012, while working at the Al-Fida newspaper in Hama. Then 34 years old, he had been criticizing the Syrian regime since the 2011 siege of Daraa through cartoons — he published more than 300 of them. One shows the suited president grinning devilishly by a pile of bloody bodies; another depicts him as an anaconda strangling Syria to death. The cartoon that purportedly got him jailed has Assad surrounded by flames and holding a sign that reads, “Assad, or the country burns.” '