‘We will never forget’: Local families call for Iran to release the black box from Flight 752

EDMONTON — Friends and strangers came together at Edmonton’s City Hall on Saturday as a book of remembrance for the victims of Ukraine Flight 752 was presented.

“To the families that are here today, know the City of Edmonton continues to grieve with you,” Mayor Don Iveson said.

It’s been 45 days since the crash, but emotions are still raw, and questions are still unanswered.

Javad Soleimani travelled to Iran after the crash to bury his wife Elnaz Nabiyi. Earlier this month he revealed that Iranian officials controlled the funeral in Iran against the families wishes, even calling her a martyr.

When he complained, they demanded an apology.

On Saturday in Edmonton, he shared another tragic fact.

“When I identified and received Elnaz’s body, only her hands here intact. It was shocking, her wedding ring was missing even though her hands were intact.”

Stories like this have caused families of the victims to launch a new petition demanding Canada and other governments involved to force Iran to surrender the plane’s black box.

“We will never forget. Never forgive. And asking for justice,” said Reza Akbari of the Iranian Heritage Society of Edmonton.

In less than a day, 41,000 people have signed the petition.

Soleimani wants Canada to take it as far as the International Court of Justice.

“It’s going to be a time consuming process, complaining to court but don’t trust Iranian regime. They’re not going to cooperate with you.”

But he vows to keep up the fight, for as long as it takes.  

With files from CTV News Edmonton’s Sarah Plowman