Mother of British doctor accuses Syria of 'killing' her son

Fatima Khan, the mother of a British surgeon who died in a Syrian prison Photo: Reuters/Hasan Shaaban

The mother of a British surgeon has accused Syria's intelligence agency of "murdering" her son following his death in a Damascus prison. Dr Abbas Khan's body was handed over to UK authorities in Lebanon ahead of its repatriation on Sunday.

The circumstances in which Khan, a 32-year-old orthopaedic surgeon from London, died while in detention in Syria remains in dispute.

Speaking after his body was handed over to British officials in the Lebanese capital Beirut, Fatima Khan shouted: ""The national security intelligence of Syria, they killed him. They're murderers".

ITV News' Political Correspondent Romilly Weeks reports:

In a statement, the International Committee of the Red Cross, who were responsible for handing over his body, said:

Mr. Khan's family as well as Syrian and British authorities requested the ICRC to assist with the transportation of the body to ensure its rapid return to the United Kingdom. Two days before the repatriation, Syrian authorities had asked the ICRC to be present during a medical examination of Dr. Khan's body.

The ICRC acted on a strictly humanitarian basis at the family’s request and is not conducting an inquiry into Mr. Khan's death.

Khan was detained in Aleppo 13 months ago, shortly after he entered Syria from Turkey.