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Children believed kidnapped found in Kurdistan, family says

By Rudaw 2/12/2015
Saren Azer is a prominent Kurdish doctor and humanitarian worker wanted on a Canadian warrant for child abduction.
Saren Azer is a prominent Kurdish doctor and humanitarian worker wanted on a Canadian warrant for child abduction.

ERBIL, Kurdistan Region — Four Canadian children allegedly abducted by their father and taken to the Middle East have been located, family members told Canadian media Tuesday.

More than 100 days after not returning home from a vacation with their father, the children have been located in Iraq’s Kurdistan region, said Kate Jeffrey, a niece of the children’s mother Alison Azer. Jeffrey added that the children have not yet been returned home, according to the CBC.

The children are girls Sharvahn, 11, and Rojevahn, 9, and boys Dersim, 7, and Meitan, 3.

“After three months we’ve found them and that’s huge, but we’ve got work ahead,” Jeffrey told Canadian media Tuesday, alleging that the father, Saren Azer, is refusing to release them.

Saren Azer is a Canadian citizen and prominent Kurdish doctor well-known for his humanitarian work in northern Iraq. In 2007, he founded the International Society for Peace and Human Rights, a group that has sent staff and medical supplies to camps in Turkey and Iraq.

After Alison Azer alleged her ex-husband kidnapped their four young children, international policing agency INTERPOL listed the children as missing and put out a Canada-wide warrant for Saren Azer’s arrest.

The family has not revealed the specific location of the children, but has said efforts are underway for returning them to their mother. They have credited social media and the Twitter handle @FindAzerkidsnow for pinpointing the children’s whereabouts.

A recent Facebook post titled “Found, but not Free” stated: “The children’s location has been determined, but they are still being held in contradiction of international law. We are relieved to know where they are. Now, it’s a matter of getting them out safely and swiftly.”


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Brzoo Kurdi
Brzoo Kurdi | 2/12/2015
This is an amazing story,at the same time very crazy,in any case ,it is a great to locate the children.
Moi | 2/12/2015
This is a combination of suffering Kurds and clash of cultures.
KPatriot | 2/12/2015
Doesn't the father have rights as well? Why is it always that the mother should have all rights to the children? A father can be just as loving and caring for his children as a mother can be. Anyway, I hope the final result be in the best interest of the kids. If they're raised by the father they'll become Kurds and assets for Kurdistan, if the mother gets them, they'll 100% be Canadians and forget Kurdistan when they're grown up.
kevin teia | 2/12/2015
There has been a brutal campaign for months to terrorize, ruin and destroy Dr. Azer and his family and friends as I am aware. Since Dr. Azer and the children disappeared, their mother has waged a war of hatred not only against Dr. Azer but against anyone who even suggests that; maybe, there are 2 sides to the story. He is a passionately loving father to each of his children as has been known to whomever that knows Dr. Azer. Dr. Azer is a humanitarian who has made many trips to Iraqi Kurdistan, taking large quantities of high quality Canadian manufactured medicine with him to treat, in particular, the victims of Saddam Hussein’s chemical bombing. More recently, the trips focussed on the refugee camps for Syrian refugees. It is not known exactly how many lives he saved, but for sure, they number in the high hundreds. Sadly, the children’s mother, for reasons known only to her, decided in December 2012, after years of marriage and having four children to leave Dr. Azer and take the children with her. The saga since then has been incredibly difficult for all concerned, most especially, of course, for the children. Naturally, children love both of their parents and not being able to live with both of them at the same time, caused them much pain. Dr. Azer has broken Canadian law which is known to all and he must accept that. While is not know exactly why he did this, what was his breaking point however this horrible picture that Dr.Azer’s Ex-wife has painted horrifying and people deserve to know the truth. All the information is matter of public record and accessible in Canada for whomever interested to learn more about it 1. Criminal Court When Dr.Azer ex-wife left in December 2012, she claimed that he had threatened her life and the lives of the children. She caused criminal charges to be laid against him. It took 6 months of investigation by the RCMP but in the end, they dismissed the charges—no evidence, no witnesses, no past history. During this time, Dr. Azer did not see or even hear from his children. It was a terrible time for him and one would wonder if he was a white Canadian male how that would work out. 2. Family Court The report of Dr. Azer’s first visit with the children that was supervised by a completely neutral person who had never met either parent. Her report includes the following statements about the first moments of Dr. Azer seeing his children after these 6 months: ‘As the children exited the vehicle, he picked each one up individually hugging them tightly, it was very emotional. The children seemed happy to see their Dad.’ ‘The interaction between Saren and the children was very special to watch, he gave each child as much individual attention as possible, but yet managed to include the others at the same time, at no point did any of the children feel left out, which given the differences in ages was quite remarkable.’ There were 3 years of Family court sessions. Dr. Azer had to fight for every increase in his access to the children and ex-wife fought him every step of the way. It is ironic that Dr. Azer was paying Child and Spousal support, (since April 2014, almost $12,000 a month) he was in actuality, paying for her lawyer as well as his own. It cost him thousands of dollars. If he had not been a person with a good income, he would have lost his children completely, as so many other parents, male and female, with lesser incomes, have. 3. Ministry of Family and Social Services On one occasions, Alison reported to Ministry that she ‘feared’ Dr. Azer was going to ‘do something’. The Ministry sent a social worker to check on him and the children. Her report states; ‘Went to the home unannounced and did not see any safety concerns. Everything looked appropriate. 2 older children disclosed that they felt safe at the home and that if they ever felt unsafe that they would talk with mom.’ The file was closed after both ex-wife and Dr. Azer completed a Parenting Course; ex-wife because she admitted to hitting the children with a wooden spoon and a hairbrush, Dr. Azer because, well, maybe just ‘because’ or maybe ‘just in case.’ I believe enough has been said and I assume you all aware of post 911 trend of “ being a terrorist or part of a terrorist organization “ and Dr. Azer was not a part from that either and I assume you understand how law enforcement in the western society will treat a middle eastern men during time as such “ you are innocent until proven otherwise “ or vise versa if you are from middle east!!! The mentioned matters are only small parts for many to see and to understand the full picture follow up the face book pages that are set up by the name of find Azer kids, bring Alisons children home or the personal page of the ex-wife. We hope for the safe return of Dr.Azer and children home even though it seems like the ex-wife has closed all the paths to return for them and hoping the ex-wife will find the path to redemption due to the suffering that she has caused for him , children and many others.
Kurdish Freedom | 2/12/2015
@KPatriot I think it is in the kids intrest to be canadian.
Tags : Canada, Kurdistan

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