A young woman, Neda Agha Soltan, was shot dead during a protest in Tehran. She was not participating in the protests, but got stuck in a traffic jam close by. Many now see her as a symbol for people protesting against the disputed re-election of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the Iranian president. (Full)
Neda's death was caught on a mobile phone camera, and published on YouTube. I include the link here, but do not want to embed the video, nor could I watch it all the way through. The reality and cruelty of this video is shocking and images are extreme, so beware...
The video was posted by the doctor who rushed in to assist her. This is what he wrote:
Basij shot to death a young woman in Tehran on Saturday June 20th protests at 19:05 June 20th
Place: Karekar Ave., at the corner crossing Khosravi St. and Salehi st.
A young woman who was standing aside with her father watching the protests was shot by a basij member hiding on the rooftop of a civilian house. He had clear shot at the girl and could not miss her. However, he aimed straight her heart. I am a doctor, so I rushed to try to save her. But the impact of the gunshot was so fierce that the bullet had blasted inside the victim's chest, and she died in less than 2 minutes. The protests were going on about 1 kilometers away in the main street and some of the protesting crowd were running from tear gass used among them, towards Salehi St. The film is shot by my friend who was standing beside me. Please let the world know.
Heavenly Yours published the transcript of an interview with Neda's fiancee, which gives some background on the incident and Neda as a person. Check also this extensively documented Wiki page about Neda.
Later on, Dr Arash Hejazi, the doctor who tried to save her, gave this interview on BBC.
When I read this text, see the picture and the first seconds of the video, the only thing I can think of is my own two girls...
It pisses me off beyond belief that dirty politics result in people to die. People who just want to live their life, and smile. I have seen it first hand where I worked. Angola, Zimbabwe, DRC, Burundi, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Ivory Coast, Sudan, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Kosovo, Iraq, etc etc etc etc etc... It is always someone's daughter or son who dies.
How often rather than not, had those who died nothing to do with the conflict? How many civilians have died in Palestine? In Afghanistan? Kashmir? Darfur? Somalia? Be it killed by a stray bullet, a bomb from a plane 30,000 feet up, a machete or a guy who thinks it is a good idea to blow himself up, and taking out as many others as possible...
When will politics go beyond this and say: "This is not right." How can these people sleep at night? It is beyond me. It really is. And that is why it is important to stand up, even as individuals and say "This is not right!".
If you are a blogger, cease the opportunity to speak up, and say 'This is not right'. Join Bloggers Unite for a Free Iran, and publish a post on Monday June 29th about the situation in Iran.
More on The Road about Iran.