Hundreds gathered in London on Boxing Day to bid a final, heart-wrenching farewell to a British-Asian doctor who died after being jailed in Syria.
The funeral of 32-year-old orthopaedic surgeon Abbas Khan was held at the Regent's Park Mosque, days after his remains were flown back from the Syrian city of Aleppo.
Dr Khan had been scheduled to return home to South London after nearly a year of imprisonment at a crowded jail in the war-torn city. However, his family were told earlier this week that Dr Abbas had committed suicide.
Dr Khan had travelled to Syria with a medical charity, initially treating refugees pouring into Turkey before entering Syria proper.
The brother of the doctor paid a moving tribute to him at the funeral, describing him as ‘our star’.
Shahnawaz Khan added that his brother was the "kindest and simplest man I've ever met".
Mr Khan spoke of ‘the evil that has taken him from us so cruelly’ and said the family had been through ‘one of the most difficult times we have ever seen’.
The doctor’s mother Fatima has dismissed claims by Syrian authorities that her son killed himself, saying that Dr Khan's last letter home had described his optimism about returning to London in time for Christmas.
On Tuesday, Foreign Office Minister Hugh Robertson said Syria had "effectively murdered" Dr Khan.
Mr Robertson told the BBC: "Dr Khan went to Syria to help the people of Syria. There is no excuse whatsoever for the treatment he suffered by the Syrian authorities who have in effect murdered a British National.
An inquest into Dr Khan's death will open at 11 am on Friday at Walthamstow Coroner's Court.BLOG COMMENTS POWERED BY DISQUS