Honouring the Memories of Victims on the Third Anniversary of Flight PS752 Downing
The ongoing fight for truth and justice holds new meaning amid Iran’s revolution
TORONTO, Jan. 08, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Today marks three years since Ukraine International Airlines Flight PS752 was shot down by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC). The Association of Families of Flight PS752 Victims (the Association) organized a ceremony and commemoration at the Meridian Arts Centre in North York, Ontario to honour and remember the lives of the victims, as well as show support for Iran’s revolution and symbolically stand with Iranians fighting for freedom.
“As we commemorate the third anniversary of this horrific event, our hearts break all over again. We have been advocating for truth and justice for nearly three years and the past four months of Iran’s revolution has renewed our sense of purpose,” says Hamed Esmaeilion, President and Spokesperson of the Association. “We pour our lives and resources into the work required to see the Iranian Regime held accountable not only for shooting down Flight PS752 and killing our loved ones, but for its utter disregard for human life, dignity, and freedom. We have hope that this revolution will bring change, and we are committed to standing with Iranians at home and across the globe during this pivotal time in history.”
The Association has, since its founding, repeatedly called on the Government of Canada to help bring about justice by referring PS752’s case to the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) as well as the International Criminal Court (ICC). On December 28, 2022, Canada, alongside Sweden, Ukraine, and the U.K. requested that the Iranian regime submit to binding arbitration under the Montreal Convention. The case can be referred to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) if all involved countries, including Iran, are unable to agree to terms of arbitration within six months. This is an important step required for beginning the legal processes and proceedings that have the ultimate power to hold the Islamic Republic of Iran and the IRGC to account.
When protests in Iran began in September, the Association also called on the Government of Canada to list the IRGC as a terrorist organization in Canada and to initiate sanctions against various officials of the Iranian Regime. The Association commends the Government of Canada for the actions it took in this regard following the announced round of sanctions on October 7, 2022, targeting 10,000 IRGC members. The Association is eager to continue working collaboratively with the government to honour the memory of the victims, continue the pursuit of justice, and advocate for the rights and freedoms of Iranians.
The anniversary ceremony included speeches from family members of victims, as well as various elected officials including Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Many Federal, Provincial, and Municipal politicians of all stripes attended the event, exemplifying broad support for those who lost loved ones.
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