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TomJoad
17th Dec 2013, 22:20
My condolences and respect to Abbas Khan's family. I hope and pray that you are able to draw great comfort from the knowledge that were it not for his selfless action many in Syria affected by the conflict would not be here.

I find myself unusually supporting George Galloway and hope he pursues this matter with his usual energy and talent.

BBC News - Abbas Khan: Doctor's death in Syria 'in effect murder' (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-25420945)

Capetonian
17th Dec 2013, 22:21
Selfless, you mean!

Apart from that, hear hear.

radeng
17th Dec 2013, 22:24
With AQ taking more power in Syria, what do you expect but murders by both sides?

I suspect many of those going feel the same as those who went to the Spanish Civil War...................

TomJoad
17th Dec 2013, 22:35
Selfless, you mean!

Apart from that, hear hear.

Capetonian,

Thanks for spotting. My apologies, his actions were truly brave and selfless.

Tom

Shack37
17th Dec 2013, 22:39
A very brave man, condolences to his family.

Loose rivets
17th Dec 2013, 23:54
I was deeply saddened to read that piece of news. There seems to be no limit to man's depravity. 5 stone. We've seen what that looks like at the end of WWII.

The man gave up so much to do what he felt was right - the man was an angel.

Sadly, he'd hardly arrived when they took him. Sometimes I hope there is a hell.

It was obvious from the very early days where this conflict was going. I really don't think the world has done enough to contain this despot. How can people who would lay waste to multitudes be allowed to continue?

TomJoad
18th Dec 2013, 00:02
I do hope that Abbas Khan is officially honoured by the UK how much more deserving than the usual round of sportsmen/celebrities. In any respect he leaves a huge legacy to his young family far beyond any honour any county could bestow.

fitliker
18th Dec 2013, 00:28
https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice
Very useful site for those travelling abroad on your holidays or on business.
















Volenti non fit injuria

Flap 5
18th Dec 2013, 08:41
The FCO has been criticized for not doing enough. I am not sure what the FCO could really do under the circumstances. He went in to a war zone voluntarily. Very laudable, but clearly a very high risk involved. Normally diplomacy just doesn't operate in those circumstances.

In fact it seems that someone went against the orders of the President of Syria. Either that or the wishes of the President were just a front. Anyone in Syria, under the Syrian regime, would be a brave or stupid person to go against the Syrian President.

George Galloway was all set to fly out to pick him up this week. Of course it could have just been a ruse to make it look like suicide.

Either way blaming the British for 'not doing enough' is disingenuous. We are always the easy target because others know there are many 'do gooders' in Britain who will wring their hands and point a finger.

Andy_S
18th Dec 2013, 08:46
I do hope that Abbas Khan is officially honoured by the UK how much more deserving than the usual round of sportsmen/celebrities.

A bit over the top.

Don’t get me wrong; I’m not questioning his motives or intentions. But he went to work with the rebels in Syria, so he picked sides, and he entered the country illegally to do so.

Doesn’t in any way excuse his death in custody, but he didn’t exactly help himself.

ORAC
18th Dec 2013, 09:02
The regime deliberately targets hospitals and doctors. I posted this here (http://www.pprune.org/jet-blast/523625-road-syria-philistine-2.html#post8050886) on 16th December.

and we seem to be on the road to peace......

The Times (From behind the firewall): Doctor in Syria tells of wounds that talks cannot heal (http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/news/world/middleeast/article3869927.ece)

Something was missing from the doctor’s eyes, so that his gaze seemed strangely blank and fixed. Though he smiled from time to time, he did so in brief flickering stabs and his face was impossibly lined for a man of 34, creases adding a decade to his age. “I’ve seen so many bodies, so many wounded — thousands — that I feel I have lost some of my own humanity and feeling,” Yasser Darwish said.

The world’s focus was on Geneva as we spoke in Atarib, northern Syria, on the eve of the US-Russian deal to secure and dispose of the Syrian regime’s chemical weapons stocks. Yet in the shadows beyond the diplomatic spotlight, the war continued unchanged. The daily horrors witnessed by medical staff in opposition areas, where each week hundreds of injuries are caused by conventional weapons, seemed unlikely to be altered in any way by the latest political spectacle abroad.

“Chemical weapons account for just a fraction of the casualties in Syria,” the doctor said, to nods of agreement from the other medical staff in the room. “Even if you include phosphorous bombs as chemical weapons, less than 5 per cent of those we treat are chemical casualties. Chemical weapons are the concern of the international community. Our reality is Scud missiles, shell fire, rockets, airstrikes.”

There was no specific incident that had caused Dr Darwish to become numb, though he began to recount treating burnt civilians, still alive but so badly scorched that their bodies resembled “oak bark”. He said that after one bombing he had come across the truncated body of a six-year-old girl, her brother dead nearby, her parents alive, but without legs and hands. “But these types of experience are many and familiar to me now.” He knew that something was wrong a fortnight ago when he found himself laughing while dealing with casualties two hours after the death of a close friend, a fellow doctor killed in an airstrike on a field clinic. “At the start of the war his death would have made me grief-stricken for a week,” he said. “Instead, I found myself continuing with my work, laughing.”

He gave a short dry bark of sound when I asked how a Geneva deal might affect the situation. Across the fields outside, a distant plume of smoke suggested incoming rocket fire. Beyond the hospital walls, vehicles filled with foreign fighters drove up and down the road, their numbers greater now than at any previous time in the war. To the south, toward Hama, there was heavy fighting between the Free Syrian Army and the regime. To the north, some 50,000 refugees clustered shoulder to shoulder with jihadist groups in the wretched, feral spread of Atmeh camp.

Not one single detail in this bleak vista suggested hope or peaceful resolution to Syria’s war — and the world of Geneva, diplomacy and accord seemed to exist in a parallel universe. A nurse in the room, Mohamed Eid, who three weeks ago found the body of his seven-month-old cousin among a pile of casualties from an airstrike, told me that the Geneva talks made him feel like the victim of a trick. “The message for Bashar Assad from Geneva is that he can have time to carry on killing as he usually does,” he said. “The world has involved itself in his trick and will now continue to look on as we die here.”

Aside from the horror of their experiences treating the wounded, medical staff in opposition areas such as Atarib face a direct personal threat from the regime. A report released on Friday by United Nations investigators monitoring human rights abuses in Syria noted an “enduring and under-reported trend” of “Syrian government forces systematically attacking hospitals and medical staff” in rebel-held areas. The medical director of the British-registered charity Hand in Hand for Syria, which is at the forefront of supplying medical equipment to clinics in opposition-held areas, told The Times that the regime regularly attacked medical facilities. “They often target our field hospitals,” said Dr “B”, using an alias for security reasons. “We try to supply portable equipment as much as we can, as we keep on having to relocate clinics once they are targeted.”

Dr Darwish said that seven doctors he knew personally had been killed in field clinics shelled by regime artillery, and that over the past two years he had worked in ten different medical facilities under direct attack. He gave another fleeting smile. “ ‘Red lines’, ‘Geneva’, ‘chemical weapons deals,’ ” he said softly. “These are words barely relevant to our world of ruins, of dead without names. These are words that the international community will use to forget us again.”

sitigeltfel
18th Dec 2013, 09:07
I note that the family are complaining that the Foreign Office didn't do enough to get him freed. What the hell could they do in that civil war-torn hell hole, send in the SAS?

Sorry, but although his intentions were honourable and humanitarian, sticking your head into the lions mouth usually only has one outcome.

Fox3WheresMyBanana
18th Dec 2013, 10:31
Frankly, I'm amazed the FCO actually managed to negotiate his release in the midst of the Civil War - hats off to them!

The fact that the release didn't happen shows, I think, that Assad is losing his grip on his own side.

Evanelpus
18th Dec 2013, 13:28
This is truly awful for his friends and family, my condolences.

The FCO has been criticized for not doing enough

The FCO, don't make me laugh. When things were kicking off in Romania back in the 90's the FCO's advice, as it always seems to be is "Don't travel unless your journey is necessary". When we arrived at our hotel, the building opposite was still smoking from being shelled the day before. Surely, the FCO's advice on this one should have been don't travel?

G-CPTN
18th Dec 2013, 13:36
So your journey was necessary? :confused:

Evanelpus
18th Dec 2013, 13:50
Yes, we were 'instructed' to go by a government agency to tie up a contact.

The point I was trying to make, obviously poorly, was that where were were going was being shelled by government troops but the FCO still didn't say don't go.

I couldn't believe it.

Flap 5
18th Dec 2013, 19:24
Can't anyone take responsibility for their own actions nowadays? That includes companies that require their employees to travel. :ugh:

racedo
18th Dec 2013, 19:51
Just wonder would UK and US be so understanding if a US Doctor went to NI and was treating PIRA men injured in incidents when things were hot there ?

Doctor chose to go, any actions after that are his nobody elses.

500N
18th Dec 2013, 19:58
"Can't anyone take responsibility for their own actions nowadays? That includes companies that require their employees to travel. :ugh:"

+ 1

Using Google to get a feel for a country and what is currently happening
and in what areas is far more up to date than any Gov't agency.

bcgallacher
18th Dec 2013, 21:27
Does anyone know if Dr Khan had Syrian nationality as well as British? If he had it would restrict what the British government could have done for him

bcgallacher
18th Dec 2013, 21:33
It seems to have taken some time to sink in to Western governments that regime change in the Middle East - whether by violent means or 'democratic elections' merely replaces one group of brutal corrupt thugs with another of the same. It is not a political problem it is a cultural one. The concept of submitting to majority rule is completely alien to Arab society,it will take generations to change.

air pig
18th Dec 2013, 21:37
It seems to have taken some time to sink in to Western governments that regime change in the Middle East - whether by violent means or 'democratic elections' merely replaces one group of brutal corrupt thugs with another of the same. It is not a political problem it is a cultural one. The concept of submitting to majority rule is completely alien to Arab society,it will take generations to change.

Not in my lifetime if ever.

On an other point about people going into war zones by themselves, not clever. I believe that MSF has had around 13 to 15 people killed this year and they are a big internationally respected organisation.

TomJoad
19th Dec 2013, 00:07
A bit over the top.

Don’t get me wrong; I’m not questioning his motives or intentions. But he went to work with the rebels in Syria, so he picked sides, and he entered the country illegally to do so.

Doesn’t in any way excuse his death in custody, but he didn’t exactly help himself.

He did a very courageous thing to help others in the face of certain adversity. I think that qualifies as it currently does in other areas. Just my opinion.

419
19th Dec 2013, 08:47
Does anyone know if Dr Khan had Syrian nationality as well as British? If he had it would restrict what the British government could have done for him

Syria is one of the many countries that don't allow dual citizenship, so as soon as he became a British citizen, his Syrian citizenship would have been revoked.

bcgallacher
19th Dec 2013, 15:46
Would it be possible that they did not recognise his British nationality rather than removing his Syrian?

Curious Pax
19th Dec 2013, 16:47
I don't know for sure, but I doubt he had Syrian heritage. His name, and that of his brother who has been interviewed on the radio sounds more Pakistani in origin, though his brother had a strong English accent, so they were both more than likely born in the UK. His mother is reported as having found him in Syria despite not speaking the language, so she is most likely not of Syrian origin either.

bcgallacher
19th Dec 2013, 22:41
For some reason I thought he was of Syrian origin in spite of his name - Khan is indeed a Northern Pakistani name.