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HindustanTimes Thu,17 Apr 2014

World

Body of Indian-origin UK doctor who died in Syria jail going to Beirut
AFP
Damascus, December 21, 2013
First Published: 15:34 IST(21/12/2013)
Last Updated: 15:39 IST(21/12/2013)
Shah Abbas Khan, a British doctor of Indian origin imprisoned in Syria for over a year, has died in detention. (Photo credit: Twitter)

The body of Shah Abbas Khan, the British doctor of Indian origin who died in a Syrian jail, was to be taken to Beirut Saturday, the International Committee of the Red Cross said.

In the Lebanese capital, the remains of the 32-year-old orthopaedic surgeon would be handed over to the British embassy.

"The body will be handed over to the ICRC at a Damascus hospital and then taken to Beirut," spokesman Simon Schorno told AFP early Saturday.

Khan's body was due at the frontier with Lebanon at midday, where it would be transferred to another ICRC team.

Previously, Syrian deputy foreign minister Faisal Muqdad told AFP the body would be transported to Beirut by Friday "at the latest".

Schorno did not say why there had been a delay.

Muqdad had also said the ICRC attended a final autopsy on Khan's body, but Schorno said his organisation "did not take part in any autopsy."

London has held Damascus responsible for Dr Khan's death.

But Syrian authorities said on Wednesday the doctor was found "hanging" in his cell, where he was being held for "unauthorised activities," and that he had committed suicide.

Muqdad said President Bashar al-Assad had decided to grant Khan an amnesty and hand him over to his mother and British MP George Galloway at a news conference in Damascus.

A Syrian monitoring group has also blamed Damascus, saying scores of detainees who had allegedly committed suicide had actually been tortured to death.

Khan, a volunteer with London-based charity Human Aid UK, had travelled to Aleppo in northern Syria last year to help civilians when he was arrested by the regime.


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