The family of an Iranian-Canadian student killed when Iran shot down a Ukrainian passenger plane is pleading with the Canadian government for help in obtaining his remains, which they say are being held by Iran’s government.
A relative of Amir Hossein Saeedinia claims the family is being intimidated by Iranian officials for speaking to the media and that Iran is refusing to release his body.
“We just want Canada to help us,” said the relative, who Global News is not identifying over safety concerns.
“All we had is gone now. Can they at least give us his dead body?”
Saeedinia, 26, was scheduled to begin his PhD in mechanical engineering at the University of Alberta, according to the school. He was among the 176 passengers and crew on board Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752 when it was shot down by Iran’s Revolutionary Guard.
For three days Iran repeatedly denied allegations that a missile had brought down the plane, but in the face of growing evidence, officials admitted Saturday that its Revolutionary Guard had shot down the plane by mistake amid heightened military tensions with the United States.
Of the 176 passengers, 138 were headed for Canada, but it’s unclear how many were permanent residents or travelling on student visas.
Canada has said 57 of the victims were Canadian citizens.
Alinejad, who also works as a women’s rights campaigner in Iran, told Global News she has spoken with several families that aren’t able to recover the remains of loved ones.
“All of them are telling that security forces went to their house and warned them, ‘If you give any interviews to journalists or media, then we won’t give the bodies of your beloved ones back,’” she said.
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