Photos of Saren Azer and his child Dersim reveal they are now in Mahabad, Iran.
The ex-wife of a Comox doctor who is wanted for abducting his four children last August confirms they have been found living in the northwestern Iranian city of Mahabad.
A photo taken by a local media outlet in Mahabad shows Saren Azer with a group of men attending a funeral.
Azer appears unconcerned that his photo is being taken even though he is wanted by Interpol and the RCMP for abducting his four children.
Another photo supplied to the Azer family shows young Dersim in a fenced yard reportedly in the same city.
“There are kind and compassionate people who are either aware of the situation or realize that something is not quite right with a group of four children with this man” said Liz van Egteren, the children’s aunt in an interview with CHEK News as she explained the source of the photo.
Saren Azer is from Mahabad and the children are reportedly being looked after by his family there.
Azer’s former wife, Alison, has been searching for the children since last August when he failed to return home to Comox with them after a trip to Europe.
11-year-old Sharvahn; Rojevahn, 9; Dersim, 7; and Meitan, 3 were originally taken by their father to war-torn Kurdistan in northern Iraq.
“The fact that they were moved out of that war zone and into Iran gave us a bit of peace of mind with regards to the bombings however it creates a different picture for us” said van Egteren.
The family is unsure if dealing with the Iranian government to get the kids back will be easier than dealing with Kurdistan’s.
In seeking Canadian citizenship Azer had also denounced the Iranian government when he came to Canada in 1994 claiming his life was in danger if he were ever to return to that country.
Back in Comox, supporters who have held candle light vigils and rallies for the children are cautiously optimistic.
“Well it’s movement, it’s movement in the right direction, the kids have been located, but they’re still not safe, we need to get them home in the hands of the Canadian Embassy” said family friend Cheryl Newton.
More rallies in support of the family are planned for Mother’s Day weekend including one in Vancouver.