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Canada ransom policy backed

TORONTO (Reuters) – The family of a Canadian hostage who was executed by an militant group in the Philippines said on Tuesday they supported the Canadian government’s policy of not paying ransom in kidnapping cases.

The Philippines on Tuesday confirmed the death of Robert Hall, who had been held hostage by al Qaeda-linked Abu Sayyaf on a remote southern island with three other people since September 2015.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Monday condemned the killing, but also said the Canadian government cannot and will not pay ransom in such cases because it could encourage additional kidnappings.

“Our family, even in our darkest hour, agrees wholeheartedly with Canada’s policy of not paying ransom,” the Hall family said in a statement.

“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.”