Britain on Wednesday accused Syria of effectively murdering an Indian-origin surgeon who died in jail after over a year of detention in the war-torn country where he was volunteering at a hospital.
Syrias deputy foreign minister Faisal Mekdad had said 32-year-old orthopaedic surgeon Dr Abbas Khan committed suicide,but British junior Foreign Office minister Hugh Robertson said the regime of president Bashar al-Assad was responsible for the death of the UK national.
Robertson said,There is no excuse whatsoever for the treatment that he has suffered by the Syrian authorities who have in effect murdered a British national who was in their country to help people injured during their civil war. Robertson said the government was seeking urgent clarification about what had happened to Khan,but his death was at best extremely suspicious.
Khans family said they were shocked and devastated,as Syrian authorities had promised to release him this week but then days later told the family he was dead.
Abbas brother Shahnawaz said,The fact that this individual was out there helping the humanitarian effort and has been held for 13 months against his will without a charge or a trial or access to a lawyer,and they have offered very little assistance,placated us throughout.
Syrians are calling it a case of suicide the statement released a ridiculous story of how he killed himself, his sister Sara said.
Respect Party MP George Galloway,who liaised with the Syrian authorities and was due to collect Khan on Friday,said the death was murder most foul and it was inconceivable that he committed suicide.
The MP for Bradford West said he believed somebody within the regime had killed Khan to defy President Assad’s decision to release him.
Indians in UK more than double in 40 years
London: The Indian population in Britain has more than doubled from 313,000 in 1971 to 700,000 in 2011,according to latest figures released by the UKs Office National Statistics.
Sikhs fight meat plant next to gurdwara
London: Hundreds of British Sikhs up in arms against a proposal to construct a meat plant right next to a gurdwara in Bradford have taken their fight to the High Court against the city councils approval for the unit.
Indian-origin councillor sentenced for fraud
London: An Indian-origin former mayor in the British city of Wellingborough has been given a suspended jail sentence after being convicted of benefit fraud. Councillor Bhupendra Patel,61,had pleaded guilty to the offence of failing to disclose his councillor allowance while receiving incapacity benefit. pti