Body of British doctor to be sent to Beirut Saturday: ICRC

20th December 2013, Comments 0 comments

The body of Abbas Khan, the British doctor who died in a Syrian jail, will be transferred to Beirut on Saturday, an International Committee of the Red Cross spokesman told AFP.

"It's planned for tomorrow morning; we will repatriating the body of Doctor Khan to the border and then to Beirut," Simon Shorno said Friday.

"The body is still with Syrian authorities and we will pick it up tomorrow morning," Shorno added.

Previously, Syrian Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Muqdad told AFP the body would be transported to Beirut by Friday "at the latest."

Shorno did not say why there was a delay.

Muqdad had also said the ICRC was present at a final autopsy on Khan's body, though Shorno said his organisation "did not take part in any autopsy."

The British government has held Damascus responsible for the death of the 32-year-old orthopaedic surgeon.

But Syrian authorities said Wednesday that Khan 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 press 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.

© 2013 AFP

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