Human Rights Activists: Iran Intimidated and Persecuted Relatives of UIA Plane Crash Victims

downed plane

Iranian authorities persecuted them, forced them not to talk to journalists, and intimidated relatives of the victims of crash of the Ukraine International Airlines plane, which was downed near Tehran on 8 January 2020. Iranian security forces also followed those who visited the graves of the plane crash victims.

This is stated in a report by the Human Rights Watch (HRW) international human rights organisation.

Human rights defenders note that from October 2020 to January 2021, they spoke to 31 family members of victims and people with direct knowledge of the authorities’ treatment of the families. Sixteen relatives of victims said that Iranian security agencies had threatened them not to participate in interviews with foreign media.

HRW’s interlocutors stated that Iranian security forces had detained and intimidated the relatives of victims. In some cases, family members of victims were interrogated or detained.

As a reminder, the Ukraine International Airlines plane (Flight PS-752), en route from Tehran to Kyiv, was shot down near the capital of Iran on 8 January 2020, killing all 176 people onboard.

After several days of objections, the Iranian authorities admitted that the plane had been shot down by two missiles fired from an anti-aircraft system.

In the final report, Iran says that the reason for the downing of the Ukrainian passenger plane was a mistake by the air defence operator, who identified the plane as a “hostile target.”

Bohdan Marusyak

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