UPDATE: The PM is speaking to reporters now — so far, not much information, but thanks to all the groups involved in securing her release, and a special tribute to Afghanistan President Harmid Karzai, who spoke with the PM immediately following word of her abduction and offered his full cooperation — more thanks to members of the media for respecting the embargo and not reporting on her kidnapping, and a message from Mellissa Fung herself, with whom he spoke earlier, who wants her colleagues to know she’s okay.
Other notes from the presser:
According to the PM, there were “hundreds” of people working on this file, both from the Canadian government and other agencies. No ransom was paid, as it is government policy not to do so, and all rules of Canada and Afghanistan were followed.
Were any other “goods or services” passed on by a third party – an insurer, perhaps? No, according to the PM. He can’t provide any information on the specific involvement of Canadian agencies, including JTF 2 Special Forces, and notes that this is why Canada is there – because it is “extremely dangerous” not only for Canadian journalists, but Afghan journalists – and that’s why Canada is there. Has it gotten worse? In some parts of the country, there has been a “deterioration” of security, he says, but it has been a dangerous place for journalists for decades.
(A brief interlude for a question on Monday’s First Ministers’ Meeting, and whether he will offer aid for the auto industry; the PM says that he is prepared to work in a “collaborative” manner with the provinces, but stresses that this is the first meeting.)
Another ransom question – the government did not pay anything, CBC did not pay anything – did anyone pay anything? The PM repeats that no ransom was paid, which sparks a supplementary on the possible motivation of the kidnappers – who, according to the latest on the CBC crawl, were “armed men who approached her in a refugee camp.”
UPDATE: Canadian Press story on the media blackout.