Toronto Sun

Tuesday, October 1, 2002

Mom cries for Kiana's return

Phone call to abducted daughter in Iran


A brief phone call bridged 10,000 km separating an abducted daughter from her weeping mother yesterday.

The call to in-laws in Ahvaz, a city in southwest Iran, raised hopes for Mitra Basry-Attar, who heard her daughter Kiana's voice for the first time in more than three days.

"She was crying. She is not happy. She needs me. She asked if her rabbit is okay," Basry-Attar said yesterday. "How can I feel good when she is not happy?"

Basry-Attar is hoping Canadian officials can help bring her five-year-old daughter back to Toronto after she was whisked away Saturday night by her father. The child was abducted after Basry-Attar said she asked for a divorce from her husband.

Yesterday, in her one-bedroom Pharmacy Ave. apartment, Basry-Attar wept as she leafed through a little pink photo album containing snapshots of her daughter. Each time she stopped at a photo, memories and tears flowed.

"This was two weeks ago at the park with her pet rabbit, Pearl. This was at Halloween last year. These were at her birthday party," said her mother, fingering the photos.

On Saturday, Abdul Nakhlestani, 41, told his wife that he was taking their daughter and 16-year-old stepson Arash to Canada's Wonderland.

Instead, Basry-Attar said, her husband dropped off his son from his first marriage near the Main St. subway station. Nakhlestani then headed to Pearson International Airport, where he boarded a KLM flight for Amsterdam with a connecting flight to Iran.

Copyright © 2002, Canoe, a division of Netgraphe Inc.