Trudeau Calls 2020 UIA 737 Shooting A “Disregard For Human Life”

The downing of a Ukrainian International Airlines (UIA) 737-800 in January 2020 shocked the world when it was revealed that the Iranian military fired at the aircraft and called it a mistake. Nearly a year and a half after the incident, a Canadian forensic team has issued its conclusions on the incident, including words from Canada’s Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau.

Trudeau Calls 2020 UIA 737 Shooting A “Disregard For Human Life”
The aircraft that was brought down was a UIA 737-800 similar to the one seen here. Photo: BrunoA380 via Wikimedia Commons 

“Through their decisions, actions and omissions, Iranian civilian and military authorities bear full and complete responsibility. Flight PS752 was shot down due to their recklessness, incompetence, and wanton disregard for human life.” – Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada

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Canadian forensic team issues final report

Yesterday, on June 24th, the special forensic team dispatched by the government of Canada released its final report.

This forensic team says that it analyzed “every available piece of information, evidence and intelligence” in developing the report. The main conclusion: “No evidence was found to indicate that the downing of Flight PS752 was premeditated.”

Diving deeper, the team says that it supports the Government of Canada’s finding that Iran is 100% responsible for the incident, which it calls an “internationally wrongful act.”

The report’s three key findings are as follows:

  • Iran failed to ensure the safety of its airspace and to notify airlines of the risks. In this omission, the conditions that lead to the tragedy were created.
  • The surface-to-air missile operator made a series of extremely flawed decisions leading to the launch of missiles. The report says that these decisions could have—and should have—been avoided.
  • Iran’s military command and control did not address the failures of the surface-to-air missile unit operator in a timely manner. It also failed to implement necessary measures to prevent the disaster.

The official report, in its full detail, can be viewed by visiting this link.

Trudeau Calls 2020 UIA 737 Shooting A “Disregard For Human Life”
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau (center) is seen here, arriving for a news conference on January 2020 in the wake of the tragedy. Photo: Getty Images

“Even though the downing of PS752 was not a premeditated attack, it does not diminish in any way Iran’s complete and total responsibility for the downing of PS752 and the deaths of 176 people.” – Government of Canada

Why is Canada so active in this incident?

For those who are less familiar with the incident, it might seem strange that a Canadian team is investigating an incident involving a Ukrainian aircraft shot down in Iran on its way to Kyiv (Ukraine). However, examining the victims and their connections to Canada will explain why.

Indeed, 55 Canadian citizens and 30 permanent residents were among the 176 people killed in what the Canadian government calls a “national tragedy.” Canada has made it a priority to “seek answers and pursue justice by holding Iran accountable and pursuing reparations.”

Trudeau Calls 2020 UIA 737 Shooting A “Disregard For Human Life”
11 Ukrainians (two passengers and nine crew members) were killed. Other passengers killed included citizens of Iran, Canada, Sweden, Afghanistan, Germany, and Great Britain. Photo: Getty Images

Bringing those responsible to justice

After three days of firm denials, January 10th, 2020, saw Iran publicly admit that its military had shot down the flight as a result of “human error.” According to the Canadian report, Iranian military prosecutor Gholam Abbas Torki indicates that 10 officials have been indicted.

A view of a memorial stone during a ceremony of founding a
A memorial stone for the victims of PS752 in Kyiv. Photo: Getty Images

On the incident, Torki said:

“The indictment of the case of the Ukrainian plane was also issued and a serious and accurate investigation was carried out and indictments were issued for 10 people who were at fault.”

However, the report acknowledges that no information has been made available about the identity of the indicted, their charges, or their degrees of responsibility. Iran has also not made public the evidence used against them or the judicial process by which their guilt or innocence is being determined.

What kind of justice against those responsible, and reparations for the families impacted, do you think would suit this incident? Let us know in the comments.