Mother of British doctor confronts Syrian over son's death
Fatima Khan, left, mother of the deceased British doctor Abbas Khan. [PA]
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The mother of the British doctor Abbas Khan who died in Syrian government custody last month did not only confront the Syrian delegation in Geneva screaming: “Why did you kill my son?” but she revealed the harrowing answers she purportedly received.
In one YouTube video posted Thursday by a group called “Tahrir Souri” or “Syrian Liberation,” the mother, Fatima Khan, said one “manager” named Jawdat Ali, working for the Syrian foreign minister deputy, Faisal Makdad, told her “yes we killed your son, because your upbringing is wrong.”
Her son was days from being freed when the Syrian government announced on Dec. 17 he had committed suicide. His family believes he was tortured and murdered by the Syrian government.
In November 2012, Khan was arrested after arriving in Syria to work in a field hospital in a rebel-controlled area.
While the mother admits that her son entered Syria illegally, she said Syrian officials told her that crossing the border into the Levant country without a proper visa is a “killing offense.”
Mrs. Khan also contacted Bouthaina Shaaban, the political and media adviser to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
“I begged her [Shaaban] one year and she didn’t help me,” she said .
The mother says she still want to meet with Shaaban, but later called the media adviser a “liar,” because “she denied to her own press that she met me.”
“That’s why I am wearing the same clothes, she can’t avoid me…I handed [the British MP and politician] George Galloway’s personal letter to her.”
In Switzerland, the Syrian peace talks between President Bashar al-Assad’s government and the opposition are taking place. Talks will wrap up on Friday before they restart on Feb. 10.
When asked if it is true that Shaaban’s office told her: “Yes, we killed your son,” the mother confirmed.
“Yes, that’s true, I have his phone number and whatsapp as well.”
She also said that another five officials in the delegation told her that “coming to Syria illegally is a killing offence.”
“The problem [is] nobody asks for [a] visa, everybody goes there,” Mrs. Khan said.
She also said that pro-Syrian regime in Switzerland have also worked provoke her.
In another video, a reporter affiliated with the Syrian government asked: “why your son didn’t go to Pakistan?”
“I am not from Pakistan, I am from India. The war is in Syria and not in Pakistan, and a lot of [Britons] are coming to help civilians.”
The Syrian Liberation group provided Al Arabiya News Channel with a video of the interview between the government-affiliated journalist and the mother.
In the video, the mother had to explain to journalist that her son was killed in a Syrian prison in Damascus.
“He was killed in prison of the regime,” the mother affirmed.
The journalist asked: “He was killed in prison in Damascus? How did he come to Damascus? How did he enter Damascus?”
The mother turned away and said, “she doesn’t know the whole story.”
The interview continued with the mother explaining how she had to bribe people in prison to send her son “sweets.” Syrian TV did not air the interview.
An inquest into the death of Abbas Khan will open at Walthamstow Coroner’s Court, UK on Friday.
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