Boeing 737 plane crash: UN questions Tehran's conclusions

Source : 112 Ukraine

UN experts say Iran had violated multiple human rights obligations
08:18, 24 February 2021

PS752 crash
Volodymyr Zelensky Facebook

Iran committed multiple human rights violations in shooting down Ukraine International Airlines flight PS752 and in the aftermath of the deadly attack, two UN experts said Tuesday. It was reported on the website of UN Human Rights Office of the High Commissioner.

"The inconsistencies in the official explanations seem designed to create a maximum of confusion and a minimum of clarity. They seem contrived to mislead and bewilder," Agnes Callamard, the Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, said in a 45-page official letter to Iran that was published today.

"As for the mistakes that have been admitted, they suggest at minimum a reckless disregard for standard procedures and for the principles of precaution, which should have been implemented to the fullest given the circumstances and the location of the missile unit in the proximity of a civilian airfield."

Callamard's letter detailed a large number of contradictions with Iran's explanations, including:

  • Iran alleges that an error in the alignment of the mobile missile unit contributed to the mistaken targeting, but it has not provided any explanation as to why this radar miscalibration occurred, why it had not been detected, and how it led to the targeting.
  • Iran did not explain why the IRGC failed to follow the most basic standard procedures, such as monitoring altitude, climb or descent rate and airspeed to evaluate unknown radar tracks, evaluating the target's size, or checking the target visually.
  • Even without an Identification Friend or Foe system in the unit itself, failsafe measures should have been instituted to ensure that transponder or other tracking data was accurately and promptly provided to the mobile missile system crew. Iran failed to explain how information about cleared civilian flights was communicated to IRGC units, a critical step to ensure the safety of civilian aircraft and one that clearly failed.
  • Contrary to the IRGC Aerospace Force Commander allegation that the unit had only 10 seconds to decide to fire, it would appear that the unit had at least a 45-second decision window and possibly more time to evaluate the target.
  • No information is provided on why other flights that took off that night, before PS752, were not targeted.

"Instead of opening a proper investigation, the authorities allowed the crash site to be looted and then bulldozed, hampering the collection of evidence and depriving families of irreplaceable mementoes of those whom they had lost," Callamard said. "The investigation by the Iranian authorities also disregarded the responsibility of high-level officials.

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