TORONTO, June 16, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — On the 160th day since Ukraine International Airline Flight 752 was shot down by missiles fired by Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), relatives of some of the 176 passengers and crew who lost their lives held a press conference today, to launch of the Association of Families of Flight PS752 Victims and its website www.PS752justice.com
The Association pursues three principal goals:
- Keeping the memories of the victims alive,
- Supporting the families of victims, and
- Seeking justice.
Families of more than 100 victims have joined the Association, including relatives of 40 Canadian citizens and 19 permanent residents who were killed. Membership continues to grow.
The Association of Families of Flight PS752 Victims demands that an international investigation by Canada, England, Sweden, Ukraine, Afghanistan, and Iran, in participation with Ukraine International Airlines be initiated immediately; and that an observer representative from the Association be included. If Iran fails to cooperate, as it is obliged to do under the 1971 Montreal Convention, it should be referred to the International Court of Justice to enforce its obligations.
At today’s press conference, Hamed Esmaeilion, a Canadian citizen of Iranian descent, who lost his wife and young daughter in the crash, said, “From international news reports we know that three minutes after takeoff two missiles were fired from mobile air defence units controlled by the ‘IRGC’ struck the aircraft. It took another three minutes for the airplane to crash in a field near the airport. Within hours bulldozers plowed through the rubble and destroyed the crash site before any investigation could take place.”
Video evidence shows Iran burned and destroyed the crash site, destroying valuable evidence. Iran took belongings from victims’ bodies, including wedding rings and Canadian passports.
Canada continues to seek cooperation and transparency from Iran. A full investigation is necessary to hold those responsible to account, avoid future incidents, and bring closure to families of victims. Canada calls on Iran to cooperate fully. The first step is allowing the black boxes to be downloaded and analyzed in a facility with the capability to do so as soon as possible — as Iran is required to do under international law.
Canada’s foreign affairs minister stated, “We will judge Iran by its actions, not by its words, and we will continue to work tirelessly on behalf of the victims of this tragedy until justice is rendered for all.” Today, there has been little progress and cooperation by Iran’s authorities. We judge Iran by their actions.
Today in announcing the launch of the Association of Families of Flight PS752 Victims, we remind Iran, Canada, and the international community that 160 days have passed without any answers. That is too long for the wheels of justice to stand still.
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