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.”