السبت , مايو 22 2021

Australia marks MH17 air disaster

The burning wreckage of MH17. Photo: 17 July 2014

Debris from the plane was scattered for miles around eastern Ukraine

Australia is holding a memorial service to mark the anniversary of the MH17 air disaster over Ukraine, in which 298 people, including 39 Australians, died.

A plaque with victims’ names has been unveiled in the gardens of Parliament House in Canberra.

The Malaysian Airlines Boeing 777 was flying from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur when it crashed on 17 July 2014.

The West believes there is evidence the plane was hit by a Russian-supplied missile fired by pro-Russian rebels.

Russia denies this, blaming Ukrainian government forces for the disaster in the eastern Donetsk region.

MH17: What do we know?

Sunflower mementoes for the families

Australian lawmakers have interrupted their mid-year holidays to take part in the national memorial service in the capital.

Speaking at the memorial, Prime Minister Tony Abbott said that Australians owed it to the dead to bring the guilty to justice.

“Their passing leaves a void that can never be filled and a pain that still throbs,” he said.

Opposition leader Bill Shorten also addressed Friday’s ceremony.

After the memorial, Mr Abbott will meet victims’ families and friends.

Memorial ceremonies will also be held in Ukraine and the Netherlands on Friday.

In the Dutch city of Nieuwegen, the names of all the victims will be read aloud by their family members.

In Malaysia, a memorial service was held in Kuala Lumpur on 11 July – because the anniversary of the disaster comes at the end of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan.

Each victim was named and then honoured with a moment of silence.

‘Politicised coverage’

On Thursday, Russian President Vladimir Putin rejected calls by the UK, Australia, the Netherlands, Malaysia and Ukraine to establish a UN tribunal to prosecute suspects.

The Kremlin said in a statement that Mr Putin had “explained Russia’s position regarding the premature and counter-productive initiatives of several countries, including The Netherlands, on the establishment of an international tribunal”.

It also criticised what it said was politicised media coverage of the disaster.

A final report on the cause of the crash is due to be released in October by the Dutch Safety Board. The Netherlands is leading the criminal investigation and is being assisted by Belgium, Australia and Ukraine.

The Malaysia Airlines’ passenger list showed flight MH17 was carrying 193 Dutch nationals (including one with dual US nationality), 43 Malaysians (including 15 crew), 27 Australians, 12 Indonesians and 10 Britons (including one with dual South African citizenship).

شاهد أيضاً

Bishop of the Southern United States of America, warns of a fake email attributed to him

Ashraf Helmey His Grace Bishop Youssef, Bishop of Texas and Southern United States, warned that …