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#Tragic: Inquest finds Indian-origin surgeon from London was unlawfully killed in Syria

A British-Indian doctor who died in a Syrian jail in 2013 was “unlawfully killed”, an inquest into his death has concluded.

Dr Abbas Khan, an orthopaedic surgeon and father-of-two from South London, was arrested by Syrian authorities after travelling to the Syrian city of Aleppo in November 2012 to volunteer at a hospital in the rebel-held city.

He was found dead inside his cell on 16 December 2013 with Syrian officials saying that Dr Khan, 32, had hanged himself.

His family however said Dr Khan had been murdered. 

The inquest at the Royal Courts of Justice in London heard from Dr Khan’s mother Fatima who had travelled to Syria by herself to secure her son’s release.

Mrs Khan is said to have visited countless embassies and prisons with a picture of her son in a bid to track him down, eventually locating him at a prison run by Syrian intelligence.

She said Dr Khan was found with serious including a missing finger nail and serious burns on his feet, suggesting that he had been tortured in prison.

The inquest was also told that Dr Khan had not gone to Syria to fight against the regime of Syrian president Bashar Al Assad, as maintained by Syrian officials.

Judge Thornton said: “It is clear that he wanted to use his medical skills to help others, and that included helping others in conflict-torn Syria.”

Days after his death came to light, Prime Minister David Cameron described it as a “sickening and appalling tragedy”.

Days before his death, Dr Khan’s family had finalized a deal with the Syrian government to secure his release only for the family to be told that he had taken his own life.

Mrs Khan later travelled to a peace conference between the Syrian government and rebels in Geneva where she confronted Assad’s representatives, screaming “Why did you kill my son?”

While the mother admits that her son entered Syria illegally, she said Syrian officials told her that crossing the border into the Levant country without a proper visa is a “killing offense”.

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