The parents of slain journalist James Foley say they’re grateful for a recent White House review of U.S. hostage policies.
In a statement last week, John and Diane Foley of Rochester said the review helped to shine “a spotlight on the silent crisis of American citizens kidnapped abroad.”
James Foley was killed last year by members of the so-called Islamic State. After his death, Diane Foley spoke on CNN to criticize the government’s handling of her son’s case. "We were asked to not go to the media, to just trust that it would be taken care of," she said. "We were told we could not raise ransom, that it was illegal [and] we might be prosecuted."
The U.S. has argued paying ransom would endanger more American lives. But President Obama says the government must do a better job of helping families of those kidnapped. He announced a new interagency office to coordinate recovery efforts and work with families, and said the government would not attempt to prosecute families for raising or paying ransom to secure a hostage's release.
Foley's parents said they would continue to advocate for the roughly 35 Americans "being held unjustly in various places in the world... The litmus test of this new Hostage recovery process will be [their] safe return."