This week marks the first anniversary of the tragic plane downing of PS752 by Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps missiles. This tragedy took the lives of 176 passengers and crew - 138 of whom were travelling to Canada. These individuals were irreplaceable members of communities. January 8, 2020 marked an unbelievable amount of loss for the Iranian-Canadian community and communities across Canada. This week we remember the beautiful lives lost and recommit ourselves to accountability and justice.
The Iranian Canadian Congress extends our deepest condolences to those who lost their loved ones and to our entire community who are mourning this tragedy. We know that this time will be even harder because we cannot gather to mourn and many of us will have to mourn alone. Please take time to check in on your friends and loved ones. The wounds left by the loss of such brilliant and extraordinary members of our community are still fresh in our hearts and minds. We re-commit to supporting the efforts to seek transparency, accountability, and justice for the victims and their families.
Today, we renew our calls to the Canadian Government in:
- Continuing to work diligently with Afghanistan, Sweden, Ukraine, and United Kingdom, in the International Coordination Response Group, to demand answers, accountability, transparency, and justice for the families of victims in compliance with the international law;
- Continuing to call for a thorough and transparent investigation that complies and is aligned with not only international law but also International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) guidelines as set out by the United Nations;
- Encouraging Iran and the rest of the international community to join Canada and endorse the Safer Skies Commitment Statement. This statement reinforces the importance of safe civil aviation operations around the world, and calls on the international community to renew their commitment to a global strategy in addressing the risk that exists within conflict zones for civil aviation;
- Continuing to support the families of the victims in not only their search for accountability, transparency, justice, and reparations but also to have access to the resources and services they need. This includes services like mental health supports and other types of assistance;
- Continuing efforts for improving security, safety and stability, and assisting the plans for removing destabilizing foreign interference that escalate tensions in the region.
The ICC is in agreement with Prime Minister Trudeau who aptly described that the military escalation in the region created the conditions for the PS752 tragedy to occur. We will continue to echo the calls for de-escalation in hopes of creating a more peaceful world that resolves our differences with diplomacy.
As a community we need to come together and support one another during this painful time amidst a global pandemic. The ICC has compiled a list of digital vigils and commemoration events we can attend to mourn together while respecting physical distancing guidelines - please see here. Please also donate, if you can, to support scholarships that are set up to honour the victims - you can see a list here.