In January 2020, civilian airplane Flight PS752 was shot down by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC). Families of the victims have recently held a protest rally in Tehran, as the Iranian regime holds a formality court regarding the incident.
For almost two years, the families of the victims killed during the air disaster have been consistently calling for justice for their loved ones, despite the heavy presence of the Iranian regime’s security forces.
The protesters described the court as a ‘shameful show’ that is only putting ten low-ranking officers on trial. The real perpetrators of this crime are senior regime officials that create the grounds for this disaster to happen.
During the rally, protesters were chanting anti-regime slogans to highlight their anger towards the regime and the IRGC. About the regime’s supreme leader Ali Khamenei and the mullahs ruling Iran, one of the slogans the protesters chanted stated, “Down with Khamenei, down with the Islamic Republic.”
Flight PS752 was chartered by the Ukraine International Airline, flying from Tehran to Kiev, then onwards to Canada. On January 10, 2020, the plane was shot down by two IRGC rockets just after take-off. 176 souls on board, including passengers and the crew, were killed in the attack.
The incident took place not long after the regime had conducted a missile attack on a U.S. military base in Iraq. Initially, the regime claimed that the plane had crashed before later admitting that the IRGC had shot it down, due to undeniable evidence.
In wake of the criminal shooting of the Ukrainian plane, protests erupted in several Iranian cities, with protesters calling for regime change and the accountability of the regime’s leaders.
The protest rally took place on Sunday, with the victims’ families holding placards adorned with pictures of their loved ones, accompanied by messages and slogans that read: “A trial without expert opinion is against the law”; “The truth must not be sacrificed for interests”; and “Justice can’t be exchanged for reparations.”
The commander of the IRGC’s aerospace division, Amir Ali Hajizadeh spoke at a gathering of the Bassij last week and tried to blame the pilot for the incident and claimed to be surprised that the airplane “didn’t return to the airport” following the hit from the first missile.
It wasn’t until there was immense international pressure following the incident, and the undeniable evidence, that the regime realized they could no longer cover up the incident and had no choice but to admit that the plane was targeted intentionally.
An indictment for 10 people in relation to the case of the air disaster was declared by the former prosecutor of Tehran, Gholamabbas Torki, in March. The IRGC officials believed to be responsible are low-ranking officers, however, the families of the victim look to and point their fingers towards Khamenei and senior regime officials as the real perpetrators of the crime.
In May, a court in Ontario, Canada, described the shooting down of PS752 as intentional and criminal. In July, Ukraine declared that if it doesn’t conclude its talks with Tehran, it will take the matter to the International Criminal Court.