Halt Ransom Payments

Even if G8 nations agree to stop paying for the release of kidnapping victims, other groups will likely keep forking out ransoms to protect staff

Cameron pressing G8 to halt ransom payments

Even if G8 nations agree to a British proposal to stop paying for the release of kidnapping victims, other groups will likely keep forking out ransoms to protect staff, security expert, Hans-Georg Ehrhart, tells DW.

Deutsche Welle: British Prime Minister David Cameron has called for a measure prohibiting ransom payments to kidnappers. He has suggested that G8 nations agree to a common policy. Do you think his plan has any chance of success?

Hans-Georg Ehrhart: it could be successful because other G8 countries, such as the United States, have already followed this strategy for a long time. A few weeks ago, France drafted a resolution to stop ransom payments as it was dealing with kidnappings in Mali. Domestic concerns could be playing a role for Cameron. In reality, it is the case that even in countries like the United States, which do not officially make ransom payments, nothing can prevent non-state actors from paying ransoms. The question is, what’s the point of the initiative. I could imagine that he can bring about a statement of principle. He’ll be able to sell that at home, but the initiative won’t bring any major changes.

What is the legal situation in Europe? Are there European Union rules, or are individual countries allowed to do as they see fit?

Every country acts in the manner they think is best – with very conflicting reasons and interests. There are humanitarian responsibilities to ……[access full article]

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