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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.

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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
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