As we reflect on today’s somber anniversary of the downing of Ukraine International Airlines Flight PS752, first and foremost we must remember the 176 lives lost, including 55 Canadian citizens, 30 permanent residents and dozens more passengers bound for Canada. These were wives and husbands, sons and daughters, brothers and sisters, friends and colleagues who tragically lost their lives at the hand of the Iranian regime.
We must also reaffirm the demands of the victims' families for accountability and justice, and that Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), which bears direct responsibility for shooting down the aircraft, be held to account. The IRGC is the epicentre of repression and terror not just in Iran but around the globe, through its network of terror proxies, including Hezbollah and Hamas. We also continue to call on the federal government to impose sanctions targetting the regime senior leadership, those responsible for the ongoing litany of human rights abuses and support for international terror that is the hallmark of the Iranian government.
The ongoing human rights abuses against women, religious minorities such as the Baha'i community, journalists, the LGBTQ+ community, academics and political prisoners, as well as arbitrary executions and terrorism, demand that Canada and other countries act now. Let this grim anniversary serve as a catalyst for that action to take place and for victims of the Iranian regime to finally receive the justice they deserve.
Michael Levitt, President and CEO, FSWC