Melanesiatimes.com – Iranian authorities have engaged in a campaign of harassment and harassment against the families of people killed in the downing of Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752 by Iran’s Revolutionary Guards in January 2020, Human Rights Watch said today. On April 6, 2021, Iranian authorities announced that they had indicted 10 people for their role in the incident but have not provided any public information about their identities, rank, or allegations. Governments participating in the Flight 752 investigation should support family members of victims in their pursuit of justice and accountability.
From October 2020 to January 2021, Human Rights Watch spoke with 31 family members of victims and people with direct knowledge of authorities’ treatment of the families. They said that Iranian security agencies have arbitrarily detained, summoned, severely interrogated, tortured, and otherwise mistreated family members of victims. The agencies also failed to return victims’ property to their relatives and disrupted funerals and memorial gatherings in an apparent effort to limit accountability efforts.
“Iran’s Revolutionary Guards killed 176 people without a shred of accountability, and now Iran’s brutal security agencies are abusing victims’ family members to dash hopes for justice,” said Michael Page, deputy Middle East director at Human Rights Watch. “Instead of trying to regain public trust through transparent investigations and redress for families, authorities are again silencing accountability efforts.”
On January 3, 2020, a US drone strike in Iraq killed Qassem Soleimani, commander of the Quds Force, a branch of Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC). The killing was followed on Jan. 8 by Iranian missile strikes on U.S. bases in Iraq and Iran shooting down a civilian jetliner near Tehran’s Imam Khomeini international airport. After some initial denials, the Armed Forces Central Command admitted on January 11 that the Revolutionary Guards had “mistakenly” shot down the passenger jet, killing all 176 passengers and crew on board.