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Monday, 24 November 2014

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Ex-Carlisle surgeon killed in Syria after witnessing brutality - claim

Two men who say they were in prison with a former Carlisle surgeon in trouble-torn Syria claim he had no reason to kill himself.

Abbas Khan photo
Dr Abbas Khan

They say Dr Abbas Khan, who died while being held in custody by the Syrian government, was “positive and strong”.

The claims came as it was revealed a psychiatrist would be asked to investigate the mental state of Dr Khan, a father of two, in the days leading up to his death.

Dr Khan, 32, worked at the Cumberland Infirmary in Carlisle between August 2010 and August 2011, based in the orthopaedics department as a surgical registrar.

He was in the war-torn country on humanitarian grounds and died while being held by state officials on December 17 last year.

The family of the surgeon, who was captured in Aleppo in November the previous year, claim Dr Khan was murdered while being held prisoner.

But the Syrian government has always maintained Dr Khan killed himself.

In an interview with the BBC, two men who say they were in prison with him said he gave treatment to other inmates.

One man said: “They killed him for the things he saw. They didn’t want anyone to know.”

At a pre-inquest hearing at the Royal Courts of Justice in London, counsel to the inquest Samantha Leek QC said a team of medical professionals would be instructed to undertake detailed reports of Dr Khan’s health before he died.

The hearing was adjourned until September.

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