Relatives of a Canadian man beheaded by Islamic militants in the Philippines said Tuesday that they agree with Canada’s policy of not paying ransom for hostages.
Robert Hall had been held hostage by the militant Abu Sayyaf group since September 2015. The deadline for a ransom payment passed Monday, and Abu Sayyaf released a gruesome video of Hall’s beheading. It shows Hall in an orange shirt kneeling in front of a black Islamic State-style flag in a jungle area before he was killed. Officials in the Philippines have confirmed his death.
Hall’s family said in a statement that every option to free him was considered and efforts to that end were “vast and exhaustive.”
In the end, the family says it agrees with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s directive that money not be paid to hostage takers who seek to undermine fundamental Canadian values.
“Our family, even in our darkest hour, agrees wholeheartedly with Canada’s policy of not paying ransom to those who would seek to undermine the fundamental values with which my father lived his life,” the family statement reads. “We stand with the ideals that built this country: strength of character; resilience of spirit; and refusal to succumb to the demands of the wretched, in order to satisfy the bloodlust of the weak.”
– Philippines Daily Inquirer/Asia News Network