Magnitsky sanctions demanded against Iranians in January shootdown of airliner

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Iranian Airliner Shotdown

OTTAWA — Families and loved ones of those killed in the shootdown of a passenger jet over Tehran are urging Canada to impose so-called Magnitsky sanctions that would target those directly responsible.

Alise Mills, a spokeswoman for the families, says the sanctions regime, named after Russian whistleblower Sergei Magnitsky, would the permit Ottawa to freeze the assets and impose travel restrictions on individual Iranians involved.

Hamed Esmaeilion, whose wife and young daughter were killed in the crash, says Iran committed multiple murders when its military shot down Ukraine International Airlines Flight PS752 on Jan. 8 shortly after it took off from Tehran.

All 176 people on board were killed, including 55 Canadian citizens, 30 permanent residents and dozens of others with connections to Canada.

Under international civil aviation law, the Iranian government leads the investigation and controls the contents of the plane’s flight recorders, which was downloaded in Paris in July.

In an interview, Foreign Affairs Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne says he isn’t expecting Iran to be transparent in an upcoming progress report and that the countries that lost citizens are planning a strong response.