Nova Scotia

Daughter of Iran plane crash victim renews calls for justice 3 years on

It's been three years since Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps shot down a civilian plane over Tehran, killing all 176 people onboard. Halifax dentist Dr. Sharieh Faghihi was among those who died. Her daughter still seeks justice for her death.

Halifax dentist Dr. Sharieh Faghihi was among those who died onboard flight 752

Dr. Sharieh (Sheri) Faghihi worked as a dentist in Halifax for several years. (Alumni Anchor/

It's been three years since Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) shot down a civilian plane over Tehran, killing all 176 people onboard, many of whom were Iranian-Canadians. 

Relatives of those who died onboard Ukraine International Airlines Flight PS752 on Jan. 8, 2020, are renewing calls for justice on the third anniversary of the tragedy. 

Halifax dentist Dr. Sharieh (Sheri) Faghihi was among those who died. Her daughter, Pageh Adibi, continues to push for justice and calls on governments to hold the IRGC responsible for the tragedy.

Adibi travelled to Toronto last weekend to attend a ceremony marking the third anniversary of the downing of flight PS752. 

She gathered with families of the victims, community members, politicians, and activists from around the world to pay tribute to the victims who lost their lives onboard the flight. 

Several people on board had direct ties to Nova Scotia, including Masoumeh Ghavi, Mandieh Ghavi, Fatemeh Mahmoodi, Maryam Malek and Saba Sadaat.

People attend a vigil marking the three year anniversary of the downing of flight PS752, in Toronto on Sunday, Jan. 8, 2023.
People attend a vigil in Toronto on Sunday marking the three-year anniversary of the downing of flight PS752 after takeoff from Tehran's airport in 2020. (Christopher Katsarov/The Canadian Press)

"It's really hard because even though it's been three years, it feels so fresh for me and, I know, a lot of other family members," Adibi told CBC Mainstreet Halifax's Jeff Douglas on Wednesday. 

"It was a really senseless loss and murder that it's really, really hard to cope with."

Faghihi was a dentist for several years in Halifax and an instructor at Dalhousie University. 

Social media posts from students, patients, friends, and colleagues flooded in after her death. 

"I was surprised to learn much more about her after she died," Adibi said.

Adibi says the posts made her realize how much her mother had touched people — including former students who saw her as a role model, and patients who said she was very caring.

"She was really one of the kindest people I know, and a really determined person," Adibi said. "I never got a chance to tell her this, but she really was a true role model." 

People can be seen crying as they look upward at a screen.
Many of the people who died in the crash were from Canada and had been visiting relatives in Iran. Families mourn in Toronto at Sunday's vigil. (Christopher Katsarov/The Canadian Press)

Though Adibi says there is nothing governments can do to bring their loved ones back, victims' families want justice and make sure senseless killings won't happen in the future. 

Adibi says families of the victims are also calling on government leaders to push for a halt to executions and imprisonments of protestors in Iran, to free political prisoners and to list the IRGC as a terrorist group. 

"Our government here in Canada [needs] to push for these crimes and executions and murders to stop happening," she said. 

Across Canada, families and other supporters took part in rallies urging Ottawa to take a tougher stance against Iran. 

With files from CBC's Mainstreet Halifax

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