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The White House will announce changes to the administration’s hostage policy review on Wednesday—a multi-month examination of how the government operates in situations when Americans abroad are being held hostage by terrorist organizations.
The administration is expected to announce that the government will no longer criminally prosecute families of American hostages who pay ransom to get loved ones back from such groups as ISIS.
White House press secretary Josh Earnest said Tuesday many families of American hostages are meeting with members of the administration who conducted the review.
The administration is “using this opportunity to let them know about decisions made and recommendations offered and give them chance to look at report,” Earnest said.
The families of captives have said they have felt confused by what they see as conflicting government guidance about negotiating with terrorists to retrieve their loved ones.
While the president “does continue to believe (in) a no concessions policy,” Earnest said on Tuesday the administration also “wanted to improve the process of communicating with families who have loved ones who are going through this terrible situation.”
Earnest said the administration recognized the U.S. government could be a bit more clear in giving information to the family members of Americans who have been kidnapped.
“There is a hope and expectation that by implementing many of these recommendations that we can better integrate the resources of the federal government that are devoted to this effort.,” Earnest said. “They are extensive, and that we can improve our ability to communicate with the families of those who are placed in this terrible situation.”