World Medical Association demands investigation into doctor's death

(19.12.2013) The World Medical Association has expressed its deep regret about the death of a British doctor in a Syrian jail. Dr. Mukesh Haikerwal, Chair of the WMA, said the unexplained death of Dr. Abbas Khan, an orthopaedic surgeon from London, was a tragedy.

‘The Syrian authorities must carry out an immediate investigation into Dr. Khan's death that occurred shortly before he was expecting to be released

‘His arrest and alleged treatment in prison is the latest in a long line of medical professionals being jailed for trying to provide medical treatment to injured civilians during conflict. What happened in Syria is happening in many parts of the world, where medical personnel are being targeted for simply carrying out their ethical duty in treating those injured in conflicts.

‘The WMA will continue to press all states and governments, as well as armed groups to respect health care workers and health facilities by not attacking or obstructing them. 2013 has been an appalling year for doctors and other medical personnel on the front line. All parties in times of conflict must be offered access to medical treatment which must be provided without hindrance to the medical and other health professionals who work to protect life.

‘Let's make sure 2014 sees a change in attitude and brings great improvements'.