1,000 Days Later, Families of Flight PS752 Victims Still Unresolved
Debris of flight PS-752 which crashed near Tehran on January 8, 2020, after being hit by a missile.
October 4, 2022 marks 1,000 days since the downing of Ukraine International Airlines Flight PS752, which killed 176 people, 85 of whom were residents of Canada. A thousand days later, some relatives of the victims hope that the current protest movement in Iran will help them move forward.
Flight PS752 was destroyed by a missile launched by the Guardians of the Islamic Revolution on January 8, 2020. 176 people were killed, including 55 citizens and 30 Canadian permanent residents.
A thousand days later, families of the victims are still trying to move on.
Hamed Esmaeilion came to settle in Canada with his wife and daughter in 2010.
“We don't want compensation or excuses: what we want is to know the complete truth.
—Hamed Esmaeilion, President of the Flight PS752 Family Association
Hamed Esmaeilion is the President of the Flight PS752 Family Association. His wife and daughter were among the victims on board the disintegrated plane.
This is another sad day for me and for the loved ones of the victims, especially when we we still haven't had justice for our deceased loved ones, he says.
Hamed Esmaeilion's wife, Parisa Eghbalian (left), died with her nine-year-old daughter, Reera (center), in the crash of flight PS752 in Tehran.
He indicates that at least 9 members of the families of victims died during these 1000 days and that he is still trying to have all the information on what happened during the destruction of the plane.
Same story with Mehrzad Zareie, a father who lost his son in the tragedy.
It's now been a thousand days since that mass murder and we still don't have justice for our loved ones, he says.
Mehrzad Zareie and Hamed Esmaeilion will be in Ottawa by the way Tuesday for a demonstration in front of Parliament. Victims' loved ones want to remember the lives lost and demand more action from the federal government.
Relatives of the victims of Flight PS752 also hope that the anti-government movement sparked by the September 16 death of Mahsa Amini in Tehran will help them advance their cause.
This movement is real, it is serious and it looks like a revolution. Mahsa Amini is a symbol. People in Iran and around the world are demanding justice for all the victims of the last 43 years of the Iranian regime, says Hamed Esmaeilion.
The tragedy of Flight PS752 is therefore among the topics decried by the movement against the Iranian regime, according to him.
Aurel Braun is a professor of international relations at the University of Toronto.
For his part, Aurel Braun, professor of international relations at the University of Toronto, confirms that a change of regime could help the relatives of the victims to find a resolution.
“I believe there could be a meaningful resolution for the families if the Iranian regime collapses.
—Aurel Braun, professor of international relations at the University of Toronto
A new regime would like to recognize the terrible actions taken in Iran, but also the impact internationally, which includes victims of Flight 752, he said.
The professor warns, however, that another outcome is possible. It indicates that the Iranian regime could stay in power and govern with more force and brutality.
Aurel Braun adds that this movement could put more pressure on the Canadian government in the face of the Iran.
The federal government unveiled on Monday a list of 25 people and 9 Iranian entities newly targeted by Canadian sanctions.
The effectiveness of the sanctions is limited, but it is symbolic and sends a clear message to the Iranian regime, notes the professor.
Hamed Esmaeilion believes for his part that the government should do more .
Iran's investigative report concludes that Flight PS752 was shot down because an air defense unit flew as a threat.< /p>
But the Association of Families of Flight PS752 submitted a communication to the United Nations International Criminal Court on September 14 that says the Islamic Republic of Iran has committed crimes of war in this case.
Their request was not supported by the Canadian government. This is also one of the actions that Mr. Esmaeilion would like to see.
The Canadian government must support the application of our association in the International Criminal Court. He must also open a criminal case in Canada and consider the Islamic Revolutionary Guards as a terrorist organization, he explains.