On the morning of Wednesday, January 8th, UIA flight PS752 crashed shortly after taking off from Imam Khomeini International Airport. The crash snuffed out the lives and promise of 176 people, including 87 Iranians, 57 Canadians, and 11 Ukrainians.
Almost immediately, stories circulated that an Iranian missile had shot down the plane. For three days, the Iranian regime vehemently denied these reports, calling them Western propaganda and telling reporters “with certainty” that an Iranian missile strike was not responsible. Except that it was – a lie the regime was forced to cop to amid mounting international evidence.
On January 11th, in response to the regime’s admission, thousands of courageous and peaceful protesters filled the streets of Tehran, Urmia, Shiraz, Isfahan, and Hamadan, to name but a few. Many chanted, “death to the liars” and “death to the dictator” – and, called for Iran’s supreme leader to be ousted. Violence marked the regime’s response. According to Amnesty International, Iranian security forces used tear gas and pepper spray on protesters, fired rubber bullets at them, kicked, punched, and beat them with batons, and arbitrarily arrested scores of people.
This on the heels of the appalling use of force by this regime during last November’s protests that Amnesty reports resulted in the deaths of hundreds of demonstrators.
Iranians – at home and we here in Canada – have had enough of this brutal regime. We demand true justice! We demand an independent, transparent, and internationally led investigation of the downing of flight PS752. We demand that Iran allow full access to Canadian consular officials and investigators. We demand that the regime fairly compensate all the victim’s families for their losses.
Moreover, we demand an end to the violent crackdowns against innocent protesters. We demand that the regime start respecting Iranians’ inherent right to freedom of speech. Finally, we demand that impartial international organizations like Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch be allowed to operate freely inside of Iran to safeguard the human rights of the Iranian people.
We hereby ask the Canadian government to support our demands and help us bring human rights to our Iranian brothers and sisters.