A British surgeon accused of joining Isis has begged to be allowed back to the UK because he helped ‘hundreds’ of patients while working for the NHS.
Dr Muhammad Saqib Raza, 40, left his young son and home in Leicester to travel to Turkey in 2017.
Those that knew him said he became increasingly extreme in his religious views before his departure.
Raza – who has dual Pakistani-British citizenship – was also allegedly warned by the NHS Trust he worked for after trying to radicalise other members of staff.
He has now been in a Kurdish ‘hell hole’ prison for more than a year since being captured by the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).
Speaking to the Mirror, he pleaded with the patients he treated during his eight years in the NHS as a facial surgeon to assist him in his return.
He said: ‘When you, my patients, wanted help, I treated you like you were my own family.
‘Now I’m stuck in this prison hell hole and nobody cares. My patients, maybe you care. I beg you, patients of mine, to help me in return for what I did for you.’
The Home Office has so far refused to let him return under its policy towards British citizens who entered the Syrian conflict zone.
Raza claimed the government has abandoned him for no other reason than his religion.
He said: ‘My only crime is being a Muslim. If I was a Jew or a Christian, people would believe I was a humanitarian and not a terrorist.
‘I would have been taken out of this hell hole. No one hates those Isis head-choppers more than I do.’
When he was captured, he told the SDF he had escaped the clutches of Isis and only worked as a medic in the areas under their control.
He insisted he has never fought for the terrorist organisation.
But when they searched him they found a laptop and €13,000 (£11,110), for which he could give no explanation.
Kurdish forces believe the computer and the funds were linked to his support for Isis.
Raza said he made the journey to Turkey to avoid paying a £200,000 settlement to his estranged wife if they divorced, and planned to go into Syria for one week to help the injured and improve his CV.
His wife divorced him when he left the country and is asking not to be identified for her own safety.
Raza has also demanded to be moved from the prison he is currently being held as Isis fighters are in there.
He also claims he fears for his life after recognising a British man in there who was an intelligence officer for Isis.
More than 900 people from the UK are known to have travelled to Syria to engage in the conflict.
The Home Office has estimated that 20 per cent have been killed and 40 per cent have since returned.
Those who returned in the early stages of the conflict were investigated and officials have claimed a ‘significant proportion’ are no longer classed as a threat to national security.
Under new legislation, anyone who is found to have joined Isis can be jailed for up to 10 years.