Advertisement

Pain, heartache continue as families of those killed on downed Ukrainian plane wait for answers

Click to play video 'Families of Flight 752 victims still waiting for justice' Families of Flight 752 victims still waiting for justice
WATCH: Months after Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752 was shot down in Iran, the victims' families are still waiting for justice – Jul 13, 2020

Shadi Jamshidi’s brother speaks of her with love, affection and unimaginable pain.

The young woman was one of the 176 people killed in the early morning hours of Jan. 8 aboard Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752. She had been in Iran visiting her father.

“I don’t feel this pain is healing at all. I feel, in the last six months, it has deepened in this anger and this sadness,” Payma Jamshidi said from his home in the United Kingdom.

Read more: Iran’s report on downing plane ‘raises more questions,’ says advocate for victims

Similar feelings of anguish and frustration were also expressed by Shadi’s other brother, Arash. He lived with his sister when he first moved to Ontario.

“This is a kind of painful and devastating time. We are all feeling it,” Arash said.

Story continues below advertisement

The plane was shot down shortly after taking off from the Imam Khomeini International Airport in Tehran. Iran called it a “disastrous mistake” after it was confirmed the commercial airplane had been shot down by two ground-to-air missiles.

According to Reuters, Ukraine’s foreign minister said on July 14 that many questions remain unanswered and that officials need “a large number of authoritative, unbiased, objective answers about what happened.”

Click to play video 'UIA Flight 752: Ukraine waits to call plane crash in Iran ‘human error’' UIA Flight 752: Ukraine waits to call plane crash in Iran ‘human error’
UIA Flight 752: Ukraine waits to call plane crash in Iran ‘human error’ – Jul 14, 2020

Ukraine has led many of the diplomatic conversations with Iran, as Canada and Iran do not have permanent representation in each other’s capitals.

Canada, Ukraine, Afghanistan, Sweden and the United Kingdom all had citizens killed on Flight 752. The “grieving nations,” as they are known, first gathered in person in London, U.K., on Jan. 16 to put forward a joint statement outlining their expectations of Iran.

Story continues below advertisement

Six months later, Iran presented a few more details on what led up to the plane being struck by two missiles, although the downing of the plane and the deaths of all 176 on board are still blamed on human error.

Read more: Iran says miscommunication, misaligned missile to blame for jet shootdown

Iran’s Civil Aviation Organization (CAO) says the ground-to-air missile system had been relocated and that the radar system was misaligned. The CAO also says members of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps were unable to communicate with the command centre and that the commercial flight was misidentified as a threat.

At the time the plane was shot down, tensions were high. Iran had earlier that day launched ballistic attacks on bases in neighbouring Iraq that housed American troops in retaliation for the United States killing Qassem Soleimani, a top Iranian general, in a drone strike on Jan. 3.

Many have questioned why the airspace was still open to commercial flights. In fact, based on reporting by the New York Times, other flights took off before and after Flight 752.

Click to play video 'Iran reports new details in downing of Flight 752' Iran reports new details in downing of Flight 752
Iran reports new details in downing of Flight 752 – Jul 12, 2020

Iran initially said the Ukraine International Airlines jet had experienced a mechanical failure, but there was video footage shared on social media that appeared to show the plane going down after large flashes nearby.

Story continues below advertisement

The Boeing 737-800 came down over a residential area, crashing into a public park and football pitch. Iranian officials have once again stated the flight data recorders would be sent away to Paris for analysis the week of July 20. It is a promise that has been made before.

“We didn’t even have the first step yet. This is so difficult for us,” said Arash, one of Shadi’s brothers.

Read more: Five countries agree to co-operate in talks with Iran over downing of Ukraine airliner

Canada will be sending observers to oversee the work in Paris, but the government has not responded to any other questions from Global News about what it will be doing or how many people from the Transportation Safety Board will be in attendance.

The families of the victims fear people are forgetting about those killed on Flight 752. A website has been created to continue to put pressure on all five governments of the grieving nations and allow families to advocate for their loved ones.

“We have a debt to keep their names alive and to be their voices,” Payma said.

Sponsored content