| 13 June 2024, Thursday |

Canada-led group criticises Iran jailing troops for downing Ukraine jet

Canada and other nations whose nationals were on board the flight condemned Iran’s sentencing of 10 alleged perpetrators in the downing of a Ukrainian airliner on Tuesday, claiming the “sham trials” lacked objectivity and transparency.

On January 8, 2020, Ukrainian International Airlines flight PS752 was shot down by Iranian forces shortly after takeoff from Tehran, killing all 176 passengers and crew. The majority, including many dual citizens, were Iranian and Canadian.

Tehran on Sunday sentenced 10 members of the armed forces, including a commander, to prison after finding them guilty of involvement in the plane’s downing.

But in a joint statement, a coordination group representing Canada, Sweden, the UK and Ukraine said the verdicts “must not distract the world from Iran’s failure to meet its international obligations and take responsibility for its actions”.

“Neither the trials nor the verdicts announced this week brings truth or justice to the families of the victims, as the entire process — starting with Iran’s biased investigation into the downing — lacked the necessary impartiality and transparency,” it added.

The statement noted that the families of the 176 victims were “still waiting for the justice they deserve”.

“We continue to stand in solidarity with the families and loved ones of the victims of the downing of Flight PS752 and will not rest until justice has been served,” it concluded.

Three days after the Kyiv-bound plane was shot down, the Iranian armed forces admitted there had been a “mistake”.

Tensions between Iran and the United States had been soaring at the time the airliner was shot down.

The Iranian judiciary’s Mizan Online website reported Sunday that the commander received the heaviest penalty of 10 years in prison for having defied orders in shooting down the plane.

Nine other personnel were sentenced to between one and three years, it reported.

The commander of a Tor-M1 surface-to-air missile system “fired two missiles” at the airliner “contrary to orders” and without obtaining authorisation, Mizan said.

It did not identify any of the accused.

“Given the extent of the effects and consequences of this action, the main defendant was sentenced to the maximum penalty,” Mizan Online added, without giving further details.


  • AFP