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Shaheen Comments on Revised Government Policies for Supporting Families of Hostages

(Washington, DC) – Following an interagency review, the administration has announced that it will release new government policies for how to better support the families of overseas hostages on Wednesday. On Thursday, Senator Shaheen will meet with Diane Foley, whose son James was killed by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Syria (ISIS), to discuss the review process and solicit her views of the policy changes.

“I wish this review had not been necessary,” said Shaheen. “The U.S. government should have done a much better job supporting the families of James Foley and Steven Sotloff, as well as the families of other Americans held hostage, during their time of incredible suffering and need. That said, I’m glad that the administration undertook this review to address the uncoordinated, sporadic and often tactless way some federal agencies and officials communicated with these families.  I plan to examine the revised policies closely. Going forward, we must have a cooperative federal effort to help bring our hostages home safely and ensure their family members receive the support they need.”

In 2014, New Hampshire lost two brave individuals with strong connections to the state, James Foley and Steven Sotloff,  both of whom were captured in Syria and executed by the ISIS terrorists. 

Last year, Senator Shaheen repeatedly pressed the Administration to reexamine the support that it was providing to families of overseas hostages.  In April, Senator Shaheen also sent a letter to the administration requesting that the families of American hostages have an opportunity to review and comment on the findings of this interagency review before revised government policies are finalized.