- The body of Abbas Khan was handed over to British officials in Beirut
- The 32-year-old doctor was allegedly due to be released last week
- Khan was taken into captivity by the Syrian regime in November 2012
- The orthopedic surgeon had flown to Aleppo to work in a field hospital
- Syria’s deputy foreign minister claims the man killed himself in captivity
- The circumstances of his death remain in dispute
The body of a British surgeon who was killed while volunteering in Syria was today handed over to officials in front of his grieving mother.
The International Committee of the Red Cross arrived in Beirut to pass Abbas Khan’s body on to British officials, as the circumstances surrounding the young orthopedic surgeon’s death remain in dispute.
The 32-year-old’s mother, Fatima Khan, broke down in tears at the sight of the wooden coffin
at the city’s Hotel-Dieu de France hospital.
Dr Khan was imprisoned in November last year after flying to Aleppo to treat civilians in a field hospital.
He was captured 48 hours after crossing the Turkish border, but was due to be freed last week after an unrelenting campaign for his release.
Syrian regime officials claim the father-of-two hanged himself while in captivity, a suggestion that has been refuted by his family who say he was looking forward to spending Christmas at home.
Upon seeing her tragic son’s coffin Mrs Khan, who was accompanied by her son, Shah Nawaz, screamed: ‘The national security intelligence of Syria, they killed him!
His body was brought to the Lebanese capital from Damascus in a convoy, a Red Cross statement said.
Syria’s deputy foreign minister Faisal Mekdad claimed Khan hanged himself, and that an examination of his body revealed no sign of violence or struggle.
The man’s brother, Shah Nawaz, dismissed the claim as ‘utter nonsense’.
The surgeon had written to his family since being captured last year, describing how he was repeatedly beaten and forced to abuse other prisoners.
Fatima Khan pictured with her other son, Shah Nawaz, in Beirut today. The deceased’s brother dismissed claims he had killed himself as ‘utter nonsense’
In a letter dated December 7, he wrote: ‘To everyone! Good work guys, seems they are now responding to the threat of a foreign delegation.
‘But keep up the pressure. We don’t want to lose the Christmas period “window”. Till I’m not released – I’m not free! They can release me immediately if they want.’
Source : Daily mail