Syrian Cartoonist Slams UK’s Refugee Policy

Moustafa Jacoub, Syrian Exile.
Photo: Courtesy of the British Red Cross via eBay.

The veteran Syrian cartoonist Ali Ferzat sharply criticized Britain’s asylum policy in a cartoon published in the Independent on Tuesday.

The satirist won numerous awards for his outspoken criticism of the Assad regime in 2011, for which the 63-year-old artist was brutally beaten. His assailants, who he called, “Assad’s thugs,” broke his hands and fingers in an attempt to silence him. His cartoons depicted the Syrian President sitting in an armchair over a broken country. Today Ferzat lives in exile in Kuwait.

Now he has focused his attention to Britain’s failure to live up to their commitments by accepting only 90 of an estimated 3.7 million refugees and displaced Syrians. Ferzat accuses Britain of lacking “the warmth of morals and humanity.”

Four years of revolution and civil war in Syria has had a shocking impact on the country’s population, many of whom have been forced to leave behind their homes and belongings to flee to large campsites, living in tents. In January of last year, the UK government agreed to accept 500 of the most vulnerable victims of the humanitarian crisis. Over a year later, the UK has accepted less than a fifth of that commitment.

Ferzat told the Independent “I do not think that the West in general carried out its duties towards Syrian refugees…It has used policies of the three monkeys: I do not see, I do not hear, and I do not talk.”

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