Balsha, a freelance cameraman, was arrested in the coastal city of Latakia three days after he covered government troops opening fire on Al-Raml Palestinian refugee camp, according to local press freedom groups.
Balsha’s footage of demonstrations and authorities’ efforts to quash unrest had been posted to a number of websites, including the Shaam News Network, a citizen news organization that has published tens of thousands of videos documenting the popular uprising in Syria. Shaam’s footage has been used by international news organizations such as Al-Jazeera and the BBC.
In November 2011, the Syrian Center for Media and Freedom of Expression reported that Balsha was being held at Latakia Central Prison. In 2012, Balsha was transferred to the Homs Central Prison, according to a friend who is campaigning for his release. Authorities had not disclosed information on Balsha’s health or legal status in late 2014.