Toronto Marchers Demand Canada Take Iran to World Court Over Downed Flight

Hundreds marched in Toronto Thursday to demand the Canadian government pursue Iran’s downing of Ukrainian Airlines light PS752 in January 2020 at the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and launch a case at the International Court of Justice. The march and rally, going from Toronto’s Queen’s Park(link is external) to Nathan Philips Square(link is external), was organized by the Association of Families of Flight PS752 Victims (752AFV) and included members of the Canadian parliament.

“Justice is not negotiable,” Hamed Esmaeilion, Canada-based spokesman of an association representing some of the families of Iranian victims of the disaster, said in a speech(link is external). “We demand [the Canadian government] to launch a criminal investigation, end negotiations [with Iran] and take the matter up with ICAO…We will return to this square after a few weeks with more people if our demands are not met.” He accused ICAO of “total indifference” and said it had produced “neither condemnation, nor investigation or punishment of the culprits”.

ICAO is a United Nations agency(link is external) that adopts standards and protocols for air navigation and sets protocols for accident investigations. It does not itself routinely carry out investigations and is not a judicial body. The International Court of Justice is the UN’s judicial body, which arbitrates in disputes between member states.

Canada had dozens of citizens and permanent residents aboard the Ukrainian flight downed when an Iranian air-defense battery fired two missiles at the airliner after its take-off from Tehran’s Imam Khomeini Airport on January 8, 2020, at a time of military high alert after Iran fired missiles at US bases in Iraq in retaliation for a US drone strike in Baghdad that killed Iranian general Qasem Soleimani and nine others. Victims’ families condemn Iran’s government for not shutting down the airspace at a time of military tension.

All 176 people on board Ukrainian flight PS752 died. Iran initially denied it had shot down the plane, and then explained it as the result of the misalignments of a mobile missile battery. Tehran’s offer of $150,000 compensation has been dismissed by many relatives of victims.

Source: Iran International

Also Read: Canadian court rules Iran’s downing of Ukrainian plane was ‘act of terrorism’ 


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