Iranian authorities dedicated a number of violations of human rights and international law within the lead-up to and aftermath of the destruction of Ukranian International Airlines Flight PS752, in response to the outcomes of a damning investigation by two United Nations experts.
Shortly after taking off from a Tehran airport on Jan. 8, 2020, the airplane was shot down by two surface-to-air missiles launched by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC). The assault killed all 176 passengers and crew members aboard, together with 138 folks with ties to Canada.
Agnès Callamard, the UN particular rapporteur on extrajudicial, abstract or arbitrary executions, launched immediately the outcomes of a six-month investigation into the occasion that decision into query the findings of the official Iranian investigation.
Callamard concluded that Iran violated the “right to life” of these 176 folks by resorting to deadly pressure and failing to take correct precautions whereas permitting army models to function so intently to civilian plane — at a time when the nation was experiencing heightened army tensions with the U.S.
Callamard additionally stated the rights of many of the victims’ relations had been violated after they had been denied entry to the crash website and subjected to harassment by Iranian authorities for talking out.
“As a result of these systematic violations and failures by the Iranian authorities to meet their human rights obligations, 176 lives were lost and many more were harmed as a result of what happened after the strike,” stated Callamard throughout a digital press convention immediately.
“The families of the victims and, indeed, Iranian society … are left without the answers they deserve. They are left churning over and over again in their minds: how could this have happened?”
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Callamard faulted Iran for failing to shut its airspace though there was a chance of a U.S. assault, saying this amounted to a “failure to protect” below international human rights law.
The Iranian army was on excessive alert on the time of the incident as a result of of the assassination of Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani in a U.S. drone strike 5 days earlier, and a subsequent retaliatory assault by Iran on U.S. bases in neighbouring Iraq.
Callamard stated the obvious lack of co-ordination between civilian air authorities and Iranian army models — which had moved a quantity of anti-aircraft weapons into the realm close to the airport — pointed to a deep failure of the chain of command in each.
Inconsistencies in Iranian investigation
An Iranian investigation discovered that the IRGC army personnel who launched the missiles mistook the civilian plane for an incoming U.S. missile.
But Callamard stated the Iranian investigation didn’t meet international requirements.
In December, she despatched a letter to the Iranian authorities detailing her observations and posing questions in regards to the missile strike. Iran has but to answer the letter, which was made public today.
Callamard’s letter describes a quantity of inconsistencies she stated elevate questions in regards to the official account:
The Iranian investigation stated a army commander launched each missiles on the airplane with out correct authorization. Callamard wrote that the investigation failed to clarify why army personnel would not be told that the airplane was set to take off.
Iran alleged an error within the alignment of the cellular missile unit contributed to the mistaken focusing on of the airplane. Callamard stated Iran hasn’t correctly defined how the radar miscalibration occurred, the way it led to the focusing on of the plane, and why it wasn’t detected.
Callamard stated Iran’s investigation did not clarify why commonplace procedures for evaluating a possible goal weren’t adopted by IRGC army personnel — resembling monitoring altitude, climb, descent price or airspeed to consider the goal’s dimension, or checking the goal visually.
Callamard stated Iran hasn’t correctly defined why different planes took off with out incident that evening.
The IRGC Aerospace Force Commander has stated the army unit had solely 10 seconds to determine as to if to fireplace. Callamard stated her investigation confirmed the unit had not less than a forty five seconds to judge the goal.
Callamard stated whereas she didn’t discover any concrete proof that the airplane was shot down deliberately, the Iranian investigation had not proved past an affordable doubt that it wasn’t focused.
“The inconsistencies in the official explanation and the reckless nature of the mistakes have led many, including myself, to question whether the downing of Flight PS752 was intentional,” she stated.
“The information released thus far makes it impossible to answer many basic questions and clarify conjectures. Without answers, suspicion that civilians were intentionally targeted will remain.”