A UK Doctor Went To Syria To Save Lives, Got Detained By Assad's Troops, And 'Killed Himself' Days Before Release


Dr Abbas Khan Syria


Dr Abbas Khan was a 32-year-old orthopedic surgeon and father of two from London. Last year, he travelED to Aleppo, Syria to help civilians wounded in the brutal civil war that had engulfed the country. He intended to start working in a field hospital but was arrested by forces loyal to President Bashar al Assad within 48 hours of being in the country.

Dr Khan was reportedly never charged with a crime, and for months his fate remained unclear. When his mother eventually found him, he had been kept in an underground cell with no windows for eight months and routinely beaten. "He was like a skeleton and could barely walk," his mother, Fatima Khan, told the Daily Mail.


His family urged the U.K. government to intervene in the case, but the country currently has no consular ties with Syria, making negotiations difficult.

Today, a Twitter account ran by Dr. Khan's brother announced that the surgeon had died in his cell:

The Syrian government told the BBC that Dr. Khan killed himself in his cell, and that could be true - his family had feared that "real possibility he may want to harm himself" after so many months of isolation and so much physical abuse.


In a sad twist, he was reportedly due to be freed this week. George Galloway, a British MP who has ties to the Middle East, was planning on flying to Damascus on Friday to bring Dr. Khan home.

"Last week I received a call from the foreign minister telling me that the president had asked him to contact me to come to Damascus to bring Dr Khan home before Christmas," Galloway told ITV News. "Obviously this had to be kept confidential but the family were kept fully informed. I was in the process of booking a flight for this Friday when I got the appalling news."