The families of those killed when the Iranian military shot down Flight 752 in January 2020 are demanding that the Canadian government take a tougher line against the regime.
Iranian-Canadians gathered on Parliament Hill on Tuesday to mark 1,000 days of mourning for their loved ones, and crowds have expressed dismay at the federal government’s actions so far.
“I lost all my life, all my future,” said Maral Gorginpour, husband of Fareed Arasteh, who died in the crash.
The two got married in Iran, three days before he boarded the plane.
“I need justice; I need the truth and until that day, I won’t stop,” said Gorginpour, who joined hundreds of people in front of the Supreme Court before marching through the parliament precinct.
In a speech to the crowd, Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland promised Ottawa would do more but did not specify what that would be.
“We will use all the tools at our disposal, to isolate and punish the brutal dictatorship,” Freeland said.
Her speech was interrupted several times, when protesters called on the Liberal Party to expel Iranians with ties to the regime out of Canada.
Conservative leader Pierre Poilievre provoked the crowd by saying that the Trudeau government had refused to consider the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, an arm of Iran’s military, a terrorist group.
Last month Poilievre confirmed a formal request from the Association of Flight Victims’ Families PS752 asking the International Criminal Court to launch a war crimes investigation. So far, Canada has helped Ukraine pursue its own criminal case, recognizing that the plane was registered in Ukraine.
“We’ve got 1,000 days from; we need action,” Poilievre said, drawing cheers.
“It’s time to act, and I want you to know that you have friends in the Conservative Party who will fight to the death.”
Sanctions experts say it would be difficult to categorize the IRGC as a terrorist organization without banning entry to Canada and freezing the assets of thousands of people who have been drafted into short-term positions. , low-level as chef.
But Liberal MP Ali Ehsassi, who is also pushing his government to step up its response, said Ottawa should recently work to find a way to see revolutionary forces protect a terrorist group with impunity. those who are relegated to non-combat roles.
On Monday, Canada sanctioned 25 Iranian officials and nine entities, including the head of the revolutionary guard. Ehsassi, who rides Willowdale in Toronto with a large Iranian-Canadian population, said on Twitter that the sanctions were “not enough”.
In Halifax on Tuesday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Canada was working with other countries to get justice.
“All Canadians, this government and all political parties stand with the people of Iran as we stand up for women’s rights and human rights,” he said.
Iranian police violently cracked down on protests across Iran following the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini in mid-September, two days after she was arrested by Iranian ethics police for allegedly wearing a hijab too loose.
Gorginpour said Ottawa needs to take a harder line against the regime, or else it will continue to beat up protesters, arrest flights and torture political prisoners.
“While they kept quiet, the regime killed more people, and they weren’t held accountable.”
This report by the Canadian Press was first published on October 4, 2022.