Justice plea over Briton's death

Hampshire Chronicle: Abbas Khan died in custody in Syria. Abbas Khan died in custody in Syria.

A British doctor who died while being detained in Syria six months ago must never be forgotten, his family said.

The Syrian regime claims Abbas Khan, a 32-year-old orthopaedic surgeon, killed himself but his family is adamant he was murdered.

Dr Khan, a father-of-two from London, was captured in November 2012 in the war-torn city of Aleppo after travelling from Turkey to help victims of hospital bombings.

The country's authorities say his body was found hanging in a jail cell on December 16, 2013.

Half a year later the doctor's family and local MP have said the surgeon must always be remembered so justice can be done whenever possible.

Dr Khan's brother Afroze Khan said: "Six whole months since our brother's death we are no closer to the truth of what really happened to him. Abbas showed great courage and fortitude in the presence of tyranny and we do not want his story to be buried in Syria or forgotten in Britain.

"Abbas made a selfless act to help others with no regard to the risk to his own life. For this he was imprisoned, tortured and in an act of sheer cruelty murdered just when freedom was in sight.

"On this day we ask that Abbas's sacrifice be not forgotten and that there be a ceaseless pursuit to grant him and his family justice"

His sister Sara Khan said the death had left an "indelible scar" and that nothing could be done to help the family recover from the loss they had suffered.

Since the tragedy the family has been supported by Labour MP for Streatham Chuka Umunna, who has branded the alleged torture and killing of Dr Khan at the hands of the Syrian regime a "heinous act".

He said: "There seems to me no doubt that people within Syria know more than what they are saying now of what exactly happened to Dr Khan, who killed him, and who gave the order.

"Whilst the tragedy that engulfs the country could mean the path to truth and justice is longer and more arduous than most, that means only that we must not let up in our pursuit of justice."

Dr Khan left behind wife Hanna and two young children, son Abdullah and daughter Rurayya. An inquest into his death continues.

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