Posted by: Lister | June 23, 2009

Neda Agha-Soltan

Sometimes refered to as Neda Soltani, she is the woman whose death was captured on video during the Iranian protests.

Neda Agha-Soltan

Watching TV, by Roger Waters:

And she is different from Cro-Magnon man
She’s different from Anne Boleyn
She is different from the Rosenbergs
And from the unknown Jew
She is different from the unknown Nicaraguan
Half superstar half victim
She’s a victor star conceptually new
And she is different from the Dodo
And from the Kankanbono
She is different from the Aztec
And from the Cherokee
She’s everybody’s sister
She’s symbolic of our failure
She’s the one in fifty million
Who can help us to be free
Because she died on T.V.

(Via Tricky, at JREF).

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Responses

  1. Mehdi Karroubi, a losing candidate in the election, has called off a mourning ceremony for those who died in the protests. He couldn’t get permission.

    al-Jazeera:

    Protesters have said that they plan to continue their protests on Friday by releasing thousands of balloons imprinted with the message “Neda you will always remain in our hearts” – a reference to the young woman killed last week whose image has become an icon of the protests.

  2. Shirin Ebadi is an Iranian lawyer, human rights activist and nobel prize winner. She has stepped forward, offering to represent Neda Agha-Soltan’s family against those who shot her and ordered the shooting.

    al-Jazeera:

    “People were peacefully rallying in the streets to show their opposition to the outcome of the election but, as we saw, they were shot at and many were killed. Many others were arrested,” she said.

    “The prisoners who were arrested after the election must be immediately freed.

    “According to the constitution of the Islamice republic, peaceful rallying and demonstrations are allowed and do not need permission from any authorities.”

    […] Ebadi said that the results of the election, which the two reformist candidates have complained was rigged, should be annulled.

    “The people of Iran do not accept the outcome of the election, therefore … a new election under the supervision of international institutions, including the United Nations [is needed],” she said.

  3. The Guardian has reported that Neda’s family has been forced to move out of their home. Other news sources quote the Guardian, but haven’t yet confirmed for themselves. The Guardian itself has only spoken to neighbours:

    Neighbours said that her family no longer lives in the four-floor apartment building on Meshkini Street, in eastern Tehran, having been forced to move since she was killed. The police did not hand the body back to her family, her funeral was cancelled, she was buried without letting her family know and the government banned mourning ceremonies at mosques, the neighbours said.

    “We just know that they [the family] were forced to leave their flat,” a neighbour said. The Guardian was unable to contact the family directly to confirm if they had been forced to leave.

    The government is also accusing protesters of killing Soltan, describing her as a martyr of the Basij militia. Javan, a pro-government newspaper, has gone so far as to blame the recently expelled BBC correspondent, Jon Leyne, of hiring “thugs” to shoot her so he could make a documentary film.

    […] “In Iran, when someone dies, neighbours visit the family and will not let them stay alone for weeks but Neda’s family was forced to be alone, otherwise the whole of Iran would gather here,” he [maybe a neighbour] said. “The government is terrible, they are even accusing pro-Mousavi people of killing Neda and have just written in their websites that Neda is a Basiji (government militia) martyr. That’s ridiculous – if that’s true why don’t they let her family hold any funeral or ceremonies? Since the election, you are not able to trust one word from the government.” A shopkeeper said he had often met Soltan, who used to come to his store.

  4. Another accusation, reported by CNN — quoting Iran’s ambassador to Mexico:

    “This death of Neda is very suspicious,” Ambassador Mohammad Hassan Ghadiri said. “My question is, how is it that this Miss Neda is shot from behind, got shot in front of several cameras, and is shot in an area where no significant demonstration was behind held?”

    He suggested that the CIA or another intelligence service may have been responsible.

    “Well, if the CIA wants to kill some people and attribute that to the government elements, then choosing women is an appropriate choice, because the death of a woman draws more sympathy,” Ghadiri said.

    […] But, he added, “I am not saying that now the CIA has done this. There are different groups. It could be the [work of another] intelligence service; it could be the CIA; it could be the terrorists. Anyway, there are people who employ these types of methods.”

    […] In response, CIA spokesman George Little said, “Any suggestion that the CIA was responsible for the death of this young woman is wrong, absurd and offensive.”


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