Certain charges against Saren Azer, regarding the alleged abduction of his four children from his ex-wife, Alison Azer, have been dropped.
As was reported by the Comox Valley Record in July, Saren Azer was arrested in Iran in June, and released on bail. (Saren emailed The Record a week later, refuting reports of the arrest in Iran.)
In an interview with Global News, Alison claimed inaction by the Canadian government in the case has led to the dismissal of those charges against her husband.
Courtenay-Alberni Member of Parliament Gord Johns told The Record the absence of any Canadian officials at the court proceedings in Iran shows a complete disregard by the Canadian government and he holds the Canadian government responsible for the dropping of the charges.
“The government had the opportunity to make the decisions necessary to make sure that the Iranian authorities are understanding the importance of this file and the importance of returning these children to Canada,” said Johns. “They (Canadian government) have failed to act. When Dr. Azer was in court, the Canadian government was nowhere to be found.
“That’s what we are understanding from the court documents; they are wondering why Canada had not submitted anything around the file.”
Johns went on to say that the Canadian government was aware of the proceedings in Iran, implying it was a choice by the government not to pursue the matter.
“When the RCMP were notified by Interpol that they were serving on a red notice, that was the first opportunity for Canada to finally act on a 10-month-old file. Instead what they did was they politically interfered at a time that was critical in this case, against their promise that they wouldn’t interject in an RCMP file.
“The Iranians reached out to Canada, and by doing so, it showed good will on behalf of the Iranian authorities – I don’t know why they would have reached out to Canadian authorities if they did not want to co-operate. So for Canada to then interject – Global Affairs, politically – in the matter, and stop the RCMP from communicating further with the Iranian authorities is clearly meddling; political interference. We have huge concerns.”
Last August, Dr. Salahaddin Mahmudi Azer (Saren), a Comox Valley resident, left the country with his four children – Sharvahn Delahn Mahmudi-Azer, 11, Rojevahn Beritan Mahmudi-Azer, 9, Dersim Baran Mahmudi-Azer, 7, and Meitan Serbast Mahmudi-Azer, 3 – on a court-approved holiday to Europe. They never returned.
Canadian and Kurdish authorities confirmed that Saren and the children landed at the Sulaymaniyah airport in Northern Iraq on Aug. 15, 2015.
On Aug. 24, 2015, Comox Valley RCMP sought and obtained a Canada Wide Warrant of Arrest for Azer, in relation to charges of Abduction in Contravention of a Custody Order, contrary to Section 282 of the Criminal Code of Canada.
Saren and the children were tracked to the Middle East and eventually located, however, Saren refused to release them.
Saren and the children allegedly relocated to Iran in early 2016.
The Interpol red notice alert for Saren remains active.
That alert cites charges as “Abduction in Contravention of Custody Order (X 4)” and states Saren is wanted by the judicial authorities in Canada for prosecution.
The Record continues to pursue the story and will update as more information becomes available.