People hold placards with photos of the victims of Ukraine International Airlines flight PS752, which was shot down near Tehran by Iran's Revolutionary Guards, as they gather to take part in a march to mark its first anniversary, in Toronto on January 8, 2021.
Several relatives of victims of a passenger flight that was shot down in Iran in January 2020 by missiles fired by the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) have set off on a 400-kilometer protest march in Canada.
The march started on August 10 in Toronto and is scheduled to end in 15 days in the Canadian capital, Ottawa, in front of the Canadian prime minister's office.
The march started at a cemetery in the Toronto suburb of Richmond Hill in which some of the people who were on the flight are buried.
Hamed Esmaeilion, spokesman for the Association of Families of Flight PS752 Victims, spoke at the cemetery, emphasizing that the families remain determined to bring justice after 31 months of struggle. "These families have spent this time fighting against an inefficient oppressive government," Esmaeilion said, "The families want justice for their loved ones and all those who were killed that day in a vicious and planned crime." Ukraine International Airlines flight PS752 crashed on January 8, 2020, while en route to Kyiv, killing all 176 people onboard. After days of official denials, Iran admitted that an IRGC unit had inadvertently shot down the plane amid heightened tensions with the United States over the U.S. drone assassination of top IRGC commander Qasem Soleimani near Baghdad. The victims were mostly Iranians and Canadians. Their families have demanded transparency and accountability. The Iranian government has allocated $150,000 to compensate the family of each passenger, but some families have refused the money. Canada said last year that it found no evidence of premeditation in the downing of the airliner. A Canadian court awarded $84 million and interest to the families of six of the victims.