1. ITV Report

Prime Minister condemns British doctor's death as 'sickening'

Dr Abbas Khan was a surgeon from London who died while being help captive in Syria Photo: Family handout

David Cameron has written to the mother of a British doctor who died in custody in Syria, describing his death as "a sickening and appalling tragedy".

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

His relatives have said he was the victim of a political murder, but the Syrian government have called his death suicide. His body was flown back to the UK today and will undergo a post-mortem examination.

ITV News correspondent Sejal Karia reports:

In a letter dated December 20, the Prime Minister told his mother, Fatima Khan, that he and his wife Samantha were "so very sorry" to hear of her son's death.

I know from my own experience of losing a child that words are of little comfort at this terrible time but please know that you are in our thoughts.

Abbas' death is a sickening and appalling tragedy and it is right that the Syrian regime should answer for it.

In a hand-written ending, he added: "You are in our thoughts and prayers."

Speaking after his body arrived back in the UK, his mother Fatima said:

I don't know why they killed my son and I want to ask why. Why on the release date they killed my son, I want answers. They are liars, every ministry is liars in Damascus.

Mrs Khan has categorically denied claims made by Syria's deputy foreign minister Faisal Mekdad that he had killed himself.

More on this story