Syrian goalkeeper arrested for ‘sheltering armed gangs’


Syrian security forces have arrested national soccer goalkeeper Mosab Balhous on charges of sheltering armed gangs and possessing suspicious amounts of money.

Balhous plays for for Al Karamah (Dignity) sports club, which competes in the Syrian Premier League the top division in Syria.

He has been a regular player for the national team since 2006, making 10 appearances for Syria during the qualifying rounds of the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

Upon his arrest, Syrian pro-democracy activists formed a Facebook page named “Freedom for Captain Mosab Balhou” demanding his release.

Meanwhile, the goalkeeper of the Syrian U-23 men’s national football team, Abd Albasit Al Sarut, has recently appeared on a YouTube video accusing the army and the security forces of seeking to kill Balhous.

Sarut said the Syrian regime of President Bashar Al Assad accused Balhous of plans to establish an “Islamic Emirate” in Homs following his participation in anti-regime protests.

But Sarut dismissed the accusation as “weak” and said the regime was simply seeking to spread chaos in and kill more civilian protesters.

Assad’s regime has used force against civilian protesters demanding political reform since mid-March.

Human rights activists say some 1,700 civilians have been killed so far in the uprising that stemmed from the “Arab Spring” ripple effect, sweeping Arab nations since the start of 2011.

Meanwhile President Assad has promised his country to enact several reforms. But the UN Security Council, who have condemned the government attacks on the Syrian people, have said that there has been a “lack of progress” in implementing reform and called on President Assad to change tact.