Surgeon who practised at Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital dies in prison cell in Syria

Harrow Times: Dr Abbas Khan's family says he has died in a prison cell in Damascus Dr Abbas Khan's family says he has died in a prison cell in Damascus

A Harrow surgeon arrested after travelling to Syria last year has died in a prison cell in the war-torn country, his family says.

Dr Abbas Khan, who practised at the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital from September to October last year, is understood to have died in a Damascus prison.

Dr Khan, a 32-year-old father of two, was arrested only days after crossing the Turkish border to Syria in November last year while on a sabbatical from work in the UK.

His family says the orthopaedic surgeon, who lived in Streatham, was due to be released within days.

In a statement, the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital said: “The Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital is very saddened to hear of the death of Dr Abbas Khan.

“We would like to extend our deepest sympathies to Dr Khan’s family at this very difficult time."

A Foreign Office spokesman said: “We are extremely concerned by reports that Dr Khan has died in detention in Syria and are urgently seeking confirmation from the Syrian authorities. If these tragic reports are true responsibility for Dr Khan’s death lies with them and we will be pressing for answers about what happened."

“We have consistently sought consular access to Dr Khan and information on his detention, directly and through the Russians, Czechs and others. In November Minister Robertson wrote making clear our concerns about his welfare and treatment, stressing that the regime’s failure to provide any information that would indicate Dr Khan’s continued detention is legitimate meant his position should be reviewed immediately. These requests have consistently been ignored."

“All UK consular services in Syria were suspended some time ago and we continue to advise against all travel to Syria.”

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