Family of hostage Robert Hall, slain by Abu Sayyaf in the Philippines, say they back Canada's 'no ransom' policy

Hostages Canadian Robert Hall (front, right) and Norwegian Kjartan Sekkingstad in an undated picture released to local media, in Jolo island, southern Philippines.
Hostages Canadian Robert Hall (front, right) and Norwegian Kjartan Sekkingstad in an undated picture released to local media, in Jolo island, southern Philippines. PHOTO: REUTERS

TORONTO (REUTERS) - The family of a Canadian hostage who was executed by an Islamist militant group in the Philippines said on Tuesday (June 14) that they supported the Canadian government's policy of not paying ransom in kidnapping cases.

The Philippines on Tuesday confirmed the death of Mr 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.

"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."

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.

Mr Hall was taken captive by the militants with three others from an upscale resort on Samal island, hundreds of kilometers east of Jolo.

Another Canadian who was held captive, former mining executive John Ridsdel, was executed by the group in April.

A Norwegian man and a Filipina are still being held.