Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s government “in effect murdered” Abbas Khan, a British doctor who traveled to the country to help people wounded in the civil war, U.K. Foreign Office minister Hugh Robertson said.
Khan, 32, an orthopedic surgeon from south London, was found dead in his cell after being held for more than a year. The Syrian government said he committed suicide, an allegation denied by Khan’s family, who said he was in good spirits and due to be released in the next few days, the BBC reported.
“There is no excuse whatsoever for the treatment he has suffered by the Syrian authorities,” Robertson told Sky News television. Assad’s government “have in effect murdered a British national who was in their country to help people injured during their civil war,” he said.
Khan was arrested at a checkpoint in Aleppo last November after entering Syria without a visa with the intention of helping casualties from the civil war, his family said.
U.K. lawmaker George Galloway said that he was due to fly to Syria to oversee the release of Khan on Dec. 20 after negotiations with the Syrian authorities. Khan may have been killed by people within the regime who disapproved of Assad’s decision to release him, Galloway told the BBC.
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