Canadian missing in Iran and her family believe she has been detained

A British Columbia father is making a tearful plea for help in finding his missing daughter, who he says is being held in an Iranian prison.

Amir Bahraminia says his 35-year-old daughter Behnoush disappeared in Tehran with her partner Mathew Safari, also known as Majid, nearly a year and a half ago.

“She has issues,” Bahraminia told Global News, “I know she’s in Iran. I haven’t heard her voice and I haven’t seen her.

The couple left British Columbia for Tehran in November 2021. Behnoush’s parents said the couple planned to travel to Kish Island in the Persian Gulf. The family was in constant contact with Behnoush and enjoyed a close relationship, but since his arrival in Tehran on November 6, 2021, the family in Canada has heard nothing from them.

Behnoush had previously traveled to Iran to visit her family with no problem, her father said.

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There is no record of Behnoush’s arrest or any charges, but the family says two sources in Iran, whom they cannot identify for security reasons, say the regime is holding her in prison. , for “super threats to national security”.

His family says Behnoush, an Iranian-Canadian who lived in Metro Vancouver, was not a politician. She was a spa manager in West Vancouver.

They say she enjoyed spending time with her family and had a psychology degree from Iran. She wanted to start over in her chosen field when she immigrated to Vancouver in 2013, but couldn’t due to language barriers. Instead, her family says, Behnoush trained as a beautician and was dedicated to her job.

Safari, also Canadian-Iranian from Port Moody, reportedly plans to buy an apartment on Kish Island. Behnoush’s parents say the house was being built by RoyalBox Group in Iran. Global News has contacted RoyalBox, but the company has no record of purchase.

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Behnoush’s family also does not know where Safari is. His parents are deceased, they say, and it is not known if he has family looking for him.

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Canadian missing in Iran for more than a year

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Global News contacted the office of Foreign Affairs Minister Melanie Joly, who referred the matter to officials at Global Affairs Canada, who said they are aware and gathering further information to provide consular assistance.

The family informed Global Affairs Canada of their daughter’s mysterious disappearance last year. In recorded telephone conversations, Global Affairs confirms that the contact took place and also confirms that he did not act after being informed of Behnoush’s disappearance. When a family rep asked why Global Affairs said they were expecting a recall that never happened. A policy, the family, says makes no sense.

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Since Behnoush’s father and mother struggled to speak English, they appointed real estate agent and family friend Nima Sheihky as their representative. He defended Behnoush.

“Behnoush is a Canadian citizen and the Government of Canada should follow up on my daughter’s case,” Bahraminia said, in Farsi.

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British Columbia family asks why Global Affairs Canada has not followed up on their daughter’s disappearance

The last message the family received from Behnoush was a text message she sent to her brother Mohammed on November 5, 2021. She wrote “I’m not in Turkey” along with a picture of what her mother, Parvin Jalilian, Said to be the hotel the couple stayed during their stopover in Istanbul, Turkey.

Mohammed says he looks at this text and wonders what she meant by that. He thinks Behnoush was trying to send a hint, and that she must have written it, he assumes, in a hurry.

Behnoush’s boarding pass shows her on Turkish Airlines (TA) Flight 76 from Vancouver to Istanbul on November 4, 2021 landing in Tehran on TA Flight 872 on November 6 of the same year.

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The Imam Khomeini Airport Police Authority provided a document to relatives of the Bahraminia family in Iran stating that Behnoush was seen at Tehran airport on November 9, 2021.

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Timeline of events since Behnoush Bahraminia was last seen in Vancouver

It is not known what happened between November 6 and November 9 at the airport.

Standing in his sister’s now abandoned condo in downtown Vancouver, Mohammad feels sadness surrounded by Behnoush’s presence.

“All these things here remind me of her. I always watch his bed. She’s not here,” he said, wiping tears from his face.

“The fact that after 15 months they (the Islamic Republic) did not tell us what happened, it shows me that they did nothing,” Mohammad added.

He says he wishes he could go back in time and warn his sister against traveling to Iran.

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The life of the Bahraminia family is suspended. An open wound, they say, that won’t heal until they get Behnoush back to Canada.

“We need help. Help find out what happened to my daughter,” Amir Bahraminia said.

© 2023 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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