FRANCE 24 spoke to Hamed Esmaeilion as to why he believes the Iranian authorities intentionally “sacrificed” the 176 passengers of Ukraine International Airlines Flight PS752 shot down on January 8, 2020. Esmaeilion told Marc Perelman why the ongoing protests in Iran “can't be silenced and will continue until the end of the Islamic regime”.
He also calls on Western countries to send Tehran a "clear message" that "the free world is serious about human rights".
Hamed Esmaeilion, who lost his wife and his daughter in the civilian aircraft three years ago, is calling for an international court to prosecute the downing of the plane. Esmaeilion, a Canadian resident who founded the Association of Families of Flight PS752 Victims with other relatives, said he believed the downing was intentional.
Escalating military tensions
He claims that Iran had opened its airspace to civilian aircrafts at a time of escalating military tensions with the US in order to use the plane as a shield. He added that after the plane was shot down, tensions abated. He therefore argues, "I believe they sacrificed 176 passengers and an unborn child to save themselves".
He laments that the victims’ call for justice and accountability has not received much support, including from countries whose citizens were also among the 176 victims.
He saluted as “right and long overdue” the move by Britain, Canada, Sweden and Ukraine to formally ask Iran to agree to arbitration within six months. If no agreement is found, the case should be taken to the International Court of Justice.
Read more on FRANCE 24 English
Exiled Iran opposition figures predict 2023 ‘victory for nation’ after protests
Iran hit with fresh sanctions following execution of first Mahsa Amini protestor
Iran to review mandatory headscarf law following Mahsa Amini protests