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B’nai Brith Urges Concrete Action Against Iran on Three-Year Anniversary of Flight Shootdown

Rubble of Flight PS 752 (Reuters)

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Jan. 06, 2023

OTTAWA – This Sunday, three years will have elapsed since the shooting down of Ukraine International Airlines Flight PS 752 by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC). It is common knowledge that this act of terrorism killed all 176 people on board, including 55 Canadian citizens and 30 permanent residents.

B’nai Brith Canada is reaffirming its solidarity with the Iranian people and reissuing seven calls to action aimed at ending the regime’s terrorism and repression in Iran.

The anniversary comes at a time when the Iranian people are courageously marching for justice and democracy. Protesting the murder of Mahsa Amini, millions have taken to the streets, only to be met with brutal repression. More than 700 unarmed protestors, including 100 children, have been slain, tens of thousands have been arrested and the regime has followed up with barbaric public executions of protestors after sham trials.

“The Iranian dictatorship has no legitimacy, and it is time for the strongest measures possible to quickly end the repression and terrorism of this regime,” said Marvin Rotrand, B’nai Brith’s National Director of its League for Human Rights. “For the past two years, we have on Jan. 8 honoured the memory of the crew and innocent passengers, many of them Canadian citizens or permanent residents, and who lost their lives that day. We will never forget this senseless loss of life, but it is important to go further and stand with Iranians struggling to win back their country.”

B’nai Brith has long branded the regime of the mullahs of Iran as a criminal enterprise state that exports terror and threatens global peace.  B’nai Brith has denounced the regime’s efforts to obtain nuclear weapons, its arming of proxy terrorist groups, its efforts to foment global antisemitism, its misogyny and its violent suppression of the rights of the Iranian people.

“We have always demanded transparency, justice and accountability for the reprehensible PS 752 tragedy,” said Michael Mostyn, Chief Executive Officer of B’nai Brith Canada. “The current regime of the mullahs of Iran has consistently refused to permit an independent investigation of the shooting down of this civilian airliner, refused good faith negotiations to fulfil its international legal obligations to make full reparations for the downing of Flight PS 752. The regime’s message to the world is that they are entitled to commit mass atrocities with impunity for no other reason than the farfetched claim that their murderous whims are the will of God.”

B’nai Brith is calling on the Government of Canada and other nations in the free world to take a stronger stance and show the murderous regime that the bloodshed of the PS 752 victims, the thousands of political prisoners slaughtered in 1988, and those being shot down on the streets today for demanding freedom, will not go unpunished.

B’nai Brith urges Canada to increase pressure on the Islamic regime of Iran by immediately championing these seven calls to action:

1. The United National Human Rights Council should convene a special session on women’s rights in Iran.

2. The United Nations Special Rapporteur on Iran should give priority to monitoring Iran’s treatment of women.

3. Those elements of the IRGC designated as terrorist under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act must also be designated as such under the Criminal Code. B’nai Brith recognizes progress made late last year when the Government of Canada substantially extended sanctions against IRGC leaders. B’nai Brith urges Canada to adopt these sanctions consistently by incorporating those targeted into the Criminal Code anti-terrorism law.

4. The Canadian Government should join the families of the victims of Flight PS 752 in their Sept. 2022 referral of the shooting down of the flight to the International Criminal Court by making Canada’s own referral to the Court.

5. The Government should put forward to the Council of the International Civil Aviation Organization the position of the Association of Families of Flight PS 752 Victims on the application of the Chicago Convention on International Civil Aviation to the shooting down of Flight PS 752.  If Iran disagrees with that position, Canada should apply to the Council to decide the dispute. If the Council does not decide the dispute in favour of Canada, Canada should, in accordance with international agreements, appeal the Council decision to the International Court of Justice.

6. The Government should list, under all sanction regimes and anti-terrorism laws within the Criminal Code, Iranians not already listed but for whom there are Interpol red notices for their involvement in the 1994 AMIA bombing in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Eighty-five people were killed in the attack and more than 300 injured.

7. The Government should take Iran to the International Court of Justice for violation of the Genocide Convention for “direct and public incitement to commit genocide” in light of Iran’s consistent venomous, anti-Israel rhetoric.