Family members of victims of a Ukrainian passenger plane shot down over Tehran more than three years ago have withdrawn their complaint from the Tehran Military Prosecutor's Office, citing the official’s "incompetence" and "biased" court proceedings.
On January 8, 2020, Iran’s elite Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) fired two missiles at Ukraine International Airlines flight PS752 shortly after it took off from the Iranian capital. All 176 people onboard were killed, including 29 children.
The judiciary has put 10 people on trial, but it has refused to divulge any details about the case, including the names of the defendants.
In a statement issued on March 2, the Association of Families of Flight PS752 Victims said that high-ranking IRGC officers and officials of the Supreme National Security Council were behind this "organized crime" and that a "restraining order" has been issued to protect them.
The victims’ families also said that most of the experts involved in the case are IRGC members.
They also complained that they have not been involved in the judicial process and that their objections have been ignored.
The Association of Families of Flight PS752 Victims concluded its statement by saying that the families reserve the right to file another complaint to an impartial and competent court.
After days of official denials, the Islamic Republic admitted that an IRGC unit had inadvertently shot down the aircraft amid heightened tensions with the United States following the US drone assassination of top IRGC commander Qasem Soleimani near Baghdad.
Iran's Civil Aviation Organization has blamed the downing of the plane on "human error."
In a 2021 report, Canada said the Iranian government was "fully responsible" for the tragedy, though there was no evidence to suggest it was premeditated.
Meanwhile, families and friends of those who died have been pushing for accountability, but they have been greeted with multiple hurdles along the way, including threats to their safety.
Despite these threats, they have continued to explore multiple avenues to have Iran answer for what happened. A case was filed last year in the International Criminal Court, which does not typically hear from civilians. The case has yet to be heard.
And in December, the governments of Britain, Canada, Ukraine and Sweden requested that Iran submit to binding arbitration, arguing the missiles that downed the flight were launched "unlawfully and intentionally.” The Iranian government has six months to respond.
More than 130 of the passengers killed in the crash had ties to Canada. Citizens or residents of Afghanistan, Britain, Iran, Ukraine, and Sweden were also among the victims.