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Syria: ICRC returns body of Dr Abbas Khan to UK officials in Lebanon

21-12-2013 News Release

Damascus/Geneva (ICRC) – The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) today returned the body of Dr Abbas Khan to British officials in Lebanon. Dr Khan died recently while detained in Syria.

An ICRC convoy left Damascus today at 11am and returned the body of Dr Khan to Beirut, Lebanon, where United Kingdom officials received it. The British Embassy in Lebanon is expected to rapidly fly the body to London, where it will be received by the family.

Dr 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 Dr Khan's death.

The ICRC does not visit detainees in Syria despite repeated requests to Syrian authorities to be granted access to places of detention in the country. It therefore did not visit Dr Khan during his detention in Syria.

For further information, please contact:
Simon Schorno, ICRC Damascus, tel: +963 993 700 847
Wolde-Gabriel Saugeron, ICRC Geneva, tel: +41 79 244 64 05
Samar El Kadi, ICRC Beirut, tel: +961 70 153 928
Sean Maguire, ICRC London, tel: +44 7887 402 632