Alizon Azer says if husband wants to talk, he should talk to police
Comox Valley mom speaks after wanted husband posts letter, photos and video of kids to Facebook
After almost a year of having no idea where her children are, Comox Valley mother Alison Azer finally has an update.
That update came this week in the form of a Facebook post purportedly from her estranged husband and the father of her children, Saren Azer, who wrote that the children are "safe and happy at last" in Iran.
Saren Azer is wanted on a Canada-wide warrant after he failed to bring his four children home to his ex-wife in Comox following a European trip last summer.
Alison Azer spoke to All Points West host Robyn Burns about her reaction to the post.
- Fugitive father accused of abducting his 4 children ends silence
- Alison Azer speaks about hunt for her 4 missing kids
- Saren Azer, missing with his 4 children, wanted on abduction charges
What was your reaction to seeing this open letter on Facebook, including photos and video?
Almost one of compassion for him, because these are the actions of a desperate man who knows that nine months into an international abduction, his options are narrowing. The authorities are closing in on him.
If he was doing as well as he says he is doing — and we don't for sure it's him running this campaign — he would just lay low and enjoy his life. He's clearly feeling very concerned about his safety and trying to distract me from what I won't be distracted from, and that's the quest to bring my children back to Canada.
This letter makes claims about the health of the children under your care when they were in Canada, saying all four were suffering from health and emotional issues, but now are doing well. What's your response to that?
We were co-parenting. That saw us spending just about equal time with the children. He can make any number of claims. There's no evidence to back that up.
We've had the involvement of third parties, child psychologists, RCMP, social services. And consistently, his efforts to try and vilify my parenting, not only did they not ring true, they really backfired.
You haven't seen your children in nine months. These videos that were posted — have you been able to bring yourself to watch them?
I have. I have nothing to run away from. I know who I am as a mom. I know who my kids are. I have seen pictures of my children from brave people, who, at some risk to themselves, photographed my children, videotaped my children. And not surprisingly, it's a real different story.
If my kids are laughing when they're going down the slide of a big bouncy castle, I'm happy for them. If they're enjoying a family gathering or a wedding, I'm happy for them. I know how much they've suffered, particularly the six months they spent in a war zone where bombs fell every night. I'm sure by comparison, this feels a little better.
Are you assured that your children are safe at this time?
I've never been assured that my children are safe. They're with an international fugitive. That's no safe space for anybody, never mind four innocent kids.
Has this opened the door for any communication between yourself and Saren?
If [Saren] wants to break the silence, answer the phone to the RCMP. Let Interpol know where you are. They've got questions. If you want to talk, if you're prepared to talk, those are the people you should be speaking to.
With files from CBC Radio One's All Points West
This interview has been condensed and edited for length and clarity.
To hear the full interview, click the audio labelled: Despite estranged husband's social media post, Alison Azer still not assured of kids' safety