Fact-Finding Report Implicates High-Level Iranian Officials in Downing of Flight PS752
Association of Families of Flight PS752 Victims Document and Expose Iran’s Cover-Up
TORONTO, Nov. 24, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Today the Association of Families of Flight PS752 Victims (the Association) released their fact-finding report on the downing of Flight PS752 that took the lives of 176 innocent civilians and an unborn child. The report’s findings, including unpublished primary evidence, expose Iran’s deceptive and systematic attempts to cover up the actions of the high-level officials responsible for the downing.
The report extensively disproves Iran’s official explanations, including false claims about its control of the relevant airspace and the Air Defense Unit that shot down the plane— claims that it was misaligned, could not make out the elementary difference between a cruise missile and a commercial aircraft, or communicate with the country’s defence network. One of the conclusions made is that at the highest levels of military alert, the Iranian government used passenger flights to shield against possible American attacks by deliberately not closing the airspace to civilian flights. The report further documents the cover-up of evidence by bulldozing the crash site, and the psychological toll on victims’ families caused by faulty DNA testing on some victims that did not match their stated identification by Iranian authorities and ongoing experiences of State-sanctioned threats and harassment.
“The findings of our report reinforce why we need urgent actionable support and help from governments to facilitate the clarification and truth about what happened that led to the downing of Flight PS752,” said Hamed Esmaeilion, President and Spokesperson of the Association. “It’s clear that this tragedy cannot be referred to as just a horrific combination of coincidences. Among logistical findings, the systematic concealment of the root cause of the crash, the destruction of evidence at the crash site, and Iran’s vague and misleading reports, all indicate that the downing of Flight PS752 was deliberate.”
The Association, in collaboration with the Raoul Wallenberg Centre for Human Rights (RWCHR), also filed the report and a joint submission with the UN to appoint an impartial fact-finding mission into the crimes involved in the downing. “As we approach the two-year anniversary of the downing of Flight PS752, Iran continues to conceal evidence and do everything in their power to silence the victims and shield officials from accountability,” said the Honourable Irwin Cotler, RWCHR Chair and former Justice Minister of Canada. “The report’s comprehensive body of evidence provides the necessary grounds to open domestic and international criminal investigations to bring the high-level perpetrators to justice.”
With the release of this report, the Association is continuing its nearly two-year push to advocate for truth and justice, which includes calling for domestic and international investigations, reform and amendment to international laws governing similar events, and on the Canadian government to facilitate the clarification of what happened by pursuing the necessary legal and political actions. The Association is hopeful that this report initiates more government action, as it clearly documents the questions that remain unanswered by Iran’s final Aircraft Accident Investigation Board report published in March 2021— another attempt to mislead the public— and Canada’s Forensic Investigative Report published in June 2021.
The Association produced the report in close collaboration with forensic, military, aviation, and legal experts with the goal of making evidence accessible to the public. The report is also informed by interviews with individuals in Iran’s air defense network, testimonies of family members, and conversations with and public statements by Iranian officials, including those made by military officials in the lead-up to and following the downing of Flight PS752.