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'There is no going back for us': Iranian family flees to Canada after speaking out
EDMONTON -- A family whose son was killed when Flight PS752 was shot out of the sky near Tehran is hoping to make Edmonton their new home.
"I feel like I’m closer to him here," Leila Latifi told CTV News Edmonton through a translator. "This is where my son wanted to come to. This was the city where he got acceptance to go to university."
Latifi and her family are seeking asylum in Canada and justice for their son.
Amir Hossein Saeidinia was one of the 176 victims on the Ukrainian International Airlines plane that was struck by an Iranian missile on Jan. 8. He was on his way to Edmonton to pursue his PhD in mechanical engineering at the University of Alberta.
Latifi spoke out after the crash, demanding justice for her son's death.
"I was screaming out my son's name on the street," Latifi said. "They told me not to shout. They told me not to name my son, not to talk about him."
When members of Iran's revolutionary guard began pressuring them, the family decided to leave.
With help from a group of volunteers in Edmonton, they fled home in the middle of the night. The Canadian government gave them visitors' visas in Turkey and they arrived in Edmonton two weeks ago.
The family hopes the Canadian government will continue to pressure Iran for answers.
"They took away his right to live," Latifi said. "As a mother, I can't forget about what happened to him."
"There is no going back for us. They're gonna kill us, it's death," Latifi explained. "Especially because we asked for justice here for our son."
And the family is remembering Amir Hossein in the place he loved so much.
"I know he's here with us, I can feel his presence."
With files from CTV News Edmonton's David Ewasuk