UK doctor who was shot pleads for help leaving Sudan

[Press center4] time:2023-06-06 10:27:14 source:ABC News author:Press center 1 click:161order

As RAF flights arrive in Cyprus from Sudan with empty seats, one injured British doctor and his family are desperate to get themselves on board.

Abdulrahman, 67, was visiting his Sudanese family for the Muslim festival of Eid when he was shot last Thursday.

He and his family are too frightened to be identified.

He was in a vehicle on his way to try to take his mother and daughter to a safer location when they came under fire.

Abdulrahman believes he was mistaken for a government official by militiamen belonging to the Rapid Support Forces (RSF), who are locked in battle with members of Sudan's regular army.

The retired NHS consultant gynaecologist is now using pillowcases to put pressure on his wounds, and leftover antibiotics found in the house.

"I'm in a lot of pain and I'm worried that the wounds could be infected," he told the BBC on a difficult phone line from Khartoum.

"I'm stable at the moment but very scared."

The UK authorities started airlifting British nationals out of Sudan on Tuesday during a pause in fighting after a 72-hour ceasefire was agreed by both sides of the conflict.

But Abdulrahman can't bring himself to abandon his frail 86-year-old mother, who has no visa to come to the UK.

His 25-year old daughter - a trainee doctor - is helping to look after both of them.

"I'm in touch with the Foreign Office," he says. "All we're asking for is a temporary visa to get my mother out of here, and then - when I'm better - I'll take her away from the UK, to Egypt perhaps. I've said to them that the three of us need to go together."

And he has a polite, but desperate, plea for the UK government.

"Just please help me get a visa for my mother. I've worked for the NHS for more than 30 years. I've trained lots of doctors. Could people give consideration for this?"

Then comes a sigh on the end of the line.

And he says: "I'm not asking for very much."

The Foreign Office travel advice states: "We can only evacuate British passport holders and immediate family members (spouse/partner and children under 18 years old who are either non-visa nationals or those with existing UK entry clearance.

"This is defined as anyone with a valid UK visa/visa vignette in their passport, or a UK Biometric Residence permit," it adds.

His 35-year old London-based daughter, also a doctor, told us that Abdulrahman had postponed his retirement to help during the Covid pandemic.

She appealed to the government to help her father and grandmother.

"I'm hoping that in a time of crisis like this, given my father has served the NHS for over 30 years, that the government can display some flexibility."

"We aren't asking the UK to look after her, we are asking the UK to facilitate her safe passage to the UK," she said.

"The journey to Egypt is dangerous, and difficult for an 86-year-old who has limited mobility and some confusion and we're hoping the UK government can demonstrate some compassion and facilitate her safe passage to the UK temporarily."

She added: "We understand there is a flight this evening and the ceasefire ends tomorrow. We will lose this window to get them out if the government doesn't act quickly."

Despite his plight, Abdulrahman remains composed.

"I've been a doctor for 40 years," he says. "I can't panic. You have to be quiet and calm when dealing with emergencies."

(editor-in-charge:Press center2)

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