With another video released by IS of a British captive, it is now time for the British government to begin dialogue in order to protect its own citizens. Asim Qureshi, Research Director of CAGE [1], said:

1.  'Calls for the release of Alan Henning that have spoken of the ‘un-Islamic’ or ‘so-called Muslim’ nature of his captors are unhelpful and will harm the prospects of him ever being released. It also has to be asked whether appeals purely in the English language –  and which do not offer any Arabic translation –  can be seen as appeals at all.

2. CAGE continues to call for the release of Alan Henning: “Alan Henning is a humanitarian aid worker and because he is not involved in any hostility to Islam or Muslims, should be released immediately. We believe there are no grounds for holding Mr Henning prisoner or executing him.'

3.  The British government must take responsibility for its actions and not abandon its citizens: 'As eluded to in a video released today featuring another captive, journalist John Cantlie, the British government’s policy of not negotiating with captors means it has effectively abandoned its own citizens. '

4.  The sudden video appearances of Alan Henning and John Cantlie in orange jumpsuits are a result of grievances about the West's foreign policy, both past and present:  'We call on the British government to show restraint and carefully consider its foreign policy positions so that long-standing underlying grievances about Western foreign policy do not boil over into further conflict, both at home and abroad.'

5.  Dialogue and reconciliation are the only ways to avoid further bloodshed:  'The fact that other European countries have successfully negotiated with IS for the release of captives tells us that the group is open to negotiation. It’s now time for the British and Americans to also step-up to the negotiating table.


1. CAGE is an independent advocacy organisation that works to empower communities affected by the War on Terror and to highlight abuses of due process.

2. The plea for the release of Alan Henning by British aid workers can be viewed here

3. The last known recorded footage of Alan Henning, on the Greece-Turkey border can be seen here:

4. CAGE are available to give comment on a number of issues including that of Alan Henning, blowback from Syria and Iraq and UK counter-terrorism measures


Contact:       Mr Amandla Thomas-Johnson
Phone:         +(44) 207 377 6700

27 Old Gloucester Street

(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.)