London – CAGE calls on the British government to clarify its involvement in the detention-without-charge and interrogation of Iraqi national Nasrin As’ad Ibrahim [1], the wife of Abu Sayyaf, who was killed in a US raid in Syria in June in which UK media reported British forces took part. [2]

The US has handed over Nasrin As’ad Ibrahim, also known as Umm Sayyaf, to the interior ministry of the semi-autonomous Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG). Human Rights Watch has reported that the KRG has abused Iraqi captives. [3] 

Prior to her being handed over to the KRG, Umm Sayyaf disappeared in a secret location for interrogation by the US, and quite possibly UK forces. It is not known whether she was afforded legal advice, or whether she underwent medical checks.

CAGE spokesperson, Ibrahim Mohamoud, said:
“This is a clear case of enforced disappearance, arbitrary detention and rendition on the part of the United States, reportedly with British complicity. As such it falls within CAGE’s work to highlight abuse of due process. It shows that president Barack Obama is following his predecessor Bush in terms of violating basic international norms.”
“A wife of a suspect should not be made guilty by association. The Pentagon itself admitted [4] that she is only a suspected member of ISIS, even after interrogation. Her husband Abu Sayyaf’s alleged mid-ranking position within ISIS has also been cast in doubt. [5]


“We urge the United States to reveal what interrogation techniques were used on Umm Sayyaf and whether she was afforded her rights under international law.”
“We call on the British government to clarify Britain’s role in the abduction, interrogation and transfer of Umm Sayyaf into Kurdish hands. Repeating the mistakes of complicity revealed in the US Senate Report on Torture will do even further damage to UK foreign policy.”




[1] US transfers Umm Sayyaf, wife of suspected ISIS member, to Iraqi Kurds: The Guardian –
[3] Iraqi Kurdistan: Arabs Displaced, Cordoned Off, Detained: Human Rights Watch –
[4] US transfers Umm Sayyaf, wife of suspected ISIS member, to Iraqi Kurds: The Guardian –
[5] Doubt case over seniority of ISIS leader killed by US special forces in Syria raid: The Guardian –

Press enquiries:
Ibrahim Mohamoud
Communications officer

+(44) 207 377 6700  |

(NOTE: CAGE represents cases of individuals based on the remit of our work. Supporting a case does not mean we agree with the views or actions of the individual. Content published on CAGE may not reflect the official position of our organisation.)