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Iran Bans Prayers For Opposition Martyr Neda

She's being called the "face of Iran," "Iran's Joan of Arc," and an "Angel of Freedom" — but no matter what she's called, Neda Agha Soltani, who was shot and killed at a protest this weekend in Tehran, will live on as a defining symbol of the segment of Iran's opposition to the controversial election of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

The young philosophy student was shot in the heart on Saturday, presumably by government snipers. Graphic video and images of her last moments have spread around Iran and the world, making Neda a galvanizing figure for protesters.

The reaction by Iranian authorities is evidence of her power — the government has banned prayers and memorials for the young girl.


On the video of her death, a man cries: "Neda, don't be afraid! Neda, stay with me. Neda, stay with me!" Although she's dead now, it's clear that Neda will stay with Iranians struggling for more political freedoms for a long time to come.

To see a protest poster with a graphic, and now iconic, image of Neda,


Image Source: Getty
Join The Conversation
sham28 sham28 8 years
Sara, millions of Americans are thinking of you and worried for the safety of so many innocent people. Take care.
***I don't think evidence of that...***
That picture, or some very similar form of it, was on the cover of the Wallstreet Journal on Monday. I think it is an important image. If the news outlets were not "passing around" images of the victims, we wouldn't know half about what's going on as we currently do. People are being killed in Iran. I don't evidence of that is sensationalizing anything.
Bodhar Bodhar 8 years
I think what appals me about the video is that BBC linked to it. With a warning that it was graphic, yes, but to be honest, that video is more sensational than news. It was important to get out so her story got out, but at this point, when news outlets are picking up the story, it's unnecessary to pass around. PARTICULARLY by a News Outlet.
bgorgeouss bgorgeouss 8 years
This is just so sad. Like Sidra said, I read on BBC that she wasn't even part of the protest and had just stepped out of her car. Either way, I don't like the fact that a video showing her death is being posted everywhere- I just refuse to watch her last moments, and I think showing the video is like exploiting her. Telling the story of deaths that occurred during the protest is fine, but passing around a video and images of a dying girl on youtube is crossing a line.
GlowingMoon GlowingMoon 8 years
Neda's death is saddening and disturbing. My heart goes out to her family and loved ones.
weffie weffie 8 years
i haven't been able to get that image out of my head since i saw the video... i'll keep praying for her.
sidra5397 sidra5397 8 years
I've read that she was 26, that it was her music teacher (not father), and that she had a fiance... I've also heard she wasn't a supporter of either side but was killed when she decided to step out of her car because of the heat. A lot of uncertainty in these reports but it's terrible news anyhow. Now she's a martyr and a symbol when only a short while ago she was just Neda.
margokhal margokhal 8 years
I was about to say...16 years old and a philosophy student would indicate to me that Neda was a college student. I know in some countries people start college at 16, but it's still unusual. This whole situation is just tragic.
Love-and-Sex Love-and-Sex 8 years
Hi Anonymous from Iran! Thank you for your comment. I did notice that there were some conflicting reports on her age, and some of the most recent stories today cited her as being 16. No matter her age, it is a very tragic story.
stylinfabqueen stylinfabqueen 8 years
My heart goes out to them...I can't believe that she is only 16, she haven't lived her life, it was cut short. I can understand that they want to use her face as a symbol of freedom. She was young, brave, and the face of the future wanting to change.
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