With great anger and sadness, we regret to report that it has been reported today that Alan Henning has been murdered. We will not be commenting further out of respect for the Henning family, to whom we send our deepest sympathies.
Original story begins: The wife of a British aid worker being held by Islamic State insurgents has made a renewed appeal for his release, a week after receiving an audio message from her husband.
Alan Henning, 47, was part of an aid convoy taking medical supplies to a hospital in northwest Syria in December last year when it was stopped by gunmen and he was abducted.
He appeared in a video released by IS earlier this month, which showed the murder of another Briton, David Haines. In it, a masked man said Henning would also be killed if British Prime Minister David Cameron kept supporting the fight against IS.
Last week Britain’s parliament approved air strikes against IS insurgents in Iraq.
“We are at a loss why those leading Islamic State cannot open their hearts and minds to the truth about Alan’s humanitarian motives for going to Syria,” Barbara Henning said in a televised statement.
Barbara Henning’s courage and dignity beggars belief.
She said she had not had any contact from IS since she was sent an audio message last week of Alan pleading for his life. She pointed out that Muslims around the world have called for his release, and that Alan was working “with his Muslim friends”.
“Surely those who wish to be seen as a state will act in a statesman-like way by showing mercy and providing clemency. I ask again, supported by the voices across the world, for Islamic State to spare Alan’s life.”
We agree, and appeal from the bottom of our hearts to IS to spare this man’s life and to release him. What can be achieved by killing a man whose mission was to help the very people you seek to represent?
Readers, we urge you to post this story to your Facebook page, to your own blog, to tweet it, and so on. Perhaps if enough of the world speaks up, IS may listen. The life of a good man whose only crime was to try and get supplies to a hospital is at stake.