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Canada among 4 countries launching effort to hold Iran accountable for shooting down Flight PS752


Canada, Sweden, Ukraine and the United Kingdom have officially activated a process that holds Iran legally responsible for the downing of Flight PS752, nearly three years after 176 people were killed on board the passenger flight that was shot down. fall.

Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) shot down a Ukraine International Airlines flight shortly after takeoff in Tehran on January 8, 2020. Two surface-to-air missiles hit the plane. , killing everyone on board — including 55 Canadian citizens, 30 permanent residents. residents and others with ties to Canada.

On Wednesday, the International Coordination and Response Group, set up to coordinate efforts to seek accountability and compensation for the downing of the plane, announced that ministers from Canada , Sweden, Ukraine and the United Kingdom have requested the Iranian regime submit to binding arbitration under an international dispute settlement process administered by Convention for the Prevention of Unlawful Acts Against the Safety of Civil Aviation.

The Convention requires signatory states to prohibit, prevent and punish certain aircraft-related offenses, including the unlawful and willful destruction of an aircraft in service. Canada, Sweden, Ukraine, the United Kingdom and Iran are all parties to the convention, which was signed in Montreal in 1971.

If the states cannot agree to the terms of arbitration within six months, the case can be taken to the International Court of Justice.

Past efforts to get Iran to participate in negotiations over compensation for Flight PS752 failed.

The families of Flight PS752 victims began fighting for compensation in 2020. Earlier this year, an Ontario court awarded them $107 million, but attorneys warn that actually claiming Iran compensation will be very difficult.

Families look forward to truth and justice

Hamed Esmaeilion, who lost his wife and daughter on the PS752, said he and other victims’ families are grateful the binding arbitration process has been put in place, but they do not believe Iran will cooperate.

“It’s been a long campaign for us but we’re happy that we now have a road map ahead and one day the truth will come out, and I think the day the truth comes out. , justice will also be served,” Esmaeilion told CBC News, speaking on behalf of the PS752 Flight Victim Families Association.

“It was a very terrible crime they committed… [international legal process] it’s important to the community and the community’s wounds are healed.”

CBC News has reached out to Iran’s Foreign Ministry for comment.

A woman lays flowers during a memorial service for the victims of Flight PS752 in Toronto on January 8, marking the second anniversary since the plane was shot down in 2020. Canada, Sweden, Ukraine and the United Kingdom have asked Iran to submit to binding arbitration as the next step in the process of holding its regime accountable. (Chris Young/Canadian Press)

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