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Neda Agha Soltan



Neda Agha Soltan (Persian: ??? ??? ?????), born 1982, died 20 June 2009, was an Iranian woman whose killing, by Basij militia during the 2009 Iranian election protests, was captured on video by bystanders. The graphic videos were posted on the Internet, and her name quickly became a rallying cry for the opposition. Neda means “voice” or “calling” in Persian, and she has been referred to as the “voice of Iran” and “a symbol of pro-democracy protesters battering the Islamic regime” in the World. (From Wikipedia) One blogger posted that Neda was protesting in Tehran when pro-government Basiji militia opened fire and shot her. “The final moments of her tender young life leaked into the pavement of Karegeh Street today, captured by cell phone cameras,” the unnamed blogger posted on “And not long after, took on new life, flickering across computer screens around the world on YouTube, and even CNN.” People on Twitter started forming a discussion group with the “hashtag” #neda to post their comments about her death and media coverage of the killing, as well. It became one of the top “trending topics” on Twitter by Saturday evening, early Sunday Tehran time. “Neda, ojala que tu muerte no sea en vano,” one poster tweeted in Spanish. “Neda, I hope that your death is not in vain.” (From CNN)


The first word came from abroad. An aunt in the United States called her Saturday in a panic. "Don't go out into the streets, Golshad," she told her. "They're killing people." The relative proceeded to describe a video, airing on exile television channels that are jammed in Iran, in which a young woman is shown bleeding to death as her companion calls out, "Neda! Neda!" A dark premonition swept over Golshad, who asked that her real name not be published. She began calling the cellphone and home number of her friend Neda Agha-Soltan who had gone to the chaotic demonstration with a group of friends, but Neda didn't answer. At midnight, as the city continued to smolder, Golshad drove to the Agha-Soltan residence in the eastern Tehran Pars section of the capital. As she heard the cries and wails and praising of God reverberating from the house, she crumpled, knowing that her worst fears were true. "Neda! Neda!" the 25-year-old cried out. "What will I do?" Neda Agha-Soltan, 26, was shot dead Saturday evening near the scene of clashes between pro-government militias and demonstrators who allege rampant vote-count fraud in the reelection of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. The jittery cellphone video footage of her bleeding on the street has turned "Neda" into an international symbol of the protest movement that ignited in the aftermath of the June 12 voting. To those who knew and loved Neda, she was far more than an icon. She was a daughter, sister and friend, a music and travel lover, a beautiful young woman in the prime of her life.





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