CAGE  condemns the arbitrary arrest, detention and punishment of anyone without cause and without being afforded their right of due process. This is the case whether the denial of these rights takes place in Egypt or Iraq – as is the case of Alan Henning – or by Western forces around the world in prisons or through drone strikes.
For ten years now, CAGE has been advocating respect for the principles of justice, due process and the rule of law in the War on Terror. We have documented hundreds of cases of abuse and torture by western countries and brought to the attention of the world grave rights violations through our research and casework.
Asim Qureshi, Research Director of CAGE, had the following points to make:
1. Alan Henning should not to be considered a prisoner of war: “Alan Henning went to Syria with Muslims and is known to have been helping the people of Syria. He is not involved in any hostility to Islam or Muslims. Therefore, he cannot be considered a prisoner of war under Islamic law and should be released immediately. We believe there are no grounds for holding Mr Henning prisoner or executing him.”
2. Western Intervention in Iraq is the root cause: “The recent spate of be-headings of Western individuals caught in conflict zones in Syria and Iraq appears to be a direct consequence of current Western intervention in Iraq and Syria. Prior to recent events there was no killing of Western hostages.“
3. The West has set the worldwide example of arbitrary detentions: “Since 9/11, Western policy has developed a process of arbitrary detentions, torture and extrajudicial killing. It is an example which others around the world now appear to be following. It goes without saying that many of the men now perpetrating rights abuses in Iraq and Syria were themselves victims of rights abuses in places such as Abu Ghraib.
4. The UK Government has put aid-workers at risk: “The UK Government coupled with irresponsible media reporting have created significant difficulties for Muslim charities by stigmatising them and labelling them as extremists/terrorists. This has put aid workers at great risk.”
5. Fundamental principles of due process must be respected by all: “The only way forward is a world which respects fundamental principles of due process, a concept central to the Islamic legal framework as well as that of all civilised societies.”
Majid Freeman, an aid worker who accompanied Alan Henning on his last convoy to Syria, said to CAGE:
‘Alan is a selfless man who was moved by the suffering of the Syrian people. He understood the risks of going into Syria and, despite our protestations against it, he felt compelled to help the orphans and widows he had met on an earlier trip. I am full of admiration for his courage and bravery and am hopeful that he will soon be released.’
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.
Contact: Mr Amandla Thomas-Johnson
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.)