Canadian mother fighting for return of kids taken to Lebanon by father
Ryan Flanagan, CTVNews.ca with files from CTV Vancouver
Published Monday, February 11, 2019 1:15PM EST
A Canadian mother has spent the past month in Lebanon, attempting to have her kids returned to her after they were allegedly flown to the Middle East by her ex-husband.
Shelley Beyak told CTV News Channel Sunday that her 10-year-old daughter and eight-year-old son were secretly taken to Lebanon last March. She said she and her ex-husband had shared custody of the children as they lived in Abbotsford, B.C., and he told her he was taking them to Seattle for a vacation.
“I figured I would see them in about a week,” she said.
“He did go to Seattle, but he ended up taking the kids all the way onto Beirut.”
Beyak arrived in Lebanon last month, believing being on the ground might make it easier for her to resolve the situation. She has been allowed a few brief visits with her children, and has been unsuccessfully attempting to get a court order forcing her ex-husband to return them to her.
Her ex-husband will face criminal charges if he ever returns to Canada, but the Lebanese court system does not recognize the Canadian custody order that was intended to prevent him from flying to Lebanon.
“I don’t think utilizing the court system here in Lebanon is going to get my kids home,” she said.
Beyak has previously said that she is working with Canadian consular officials and wants Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to intervene in her case. She said Sunday that she had not heard of any government efforts on her behalf.
“I need some action, and I need the kids back in Canada,” she said.