The image is heart-breaking — and horrifying: A young woman bleeding in the streets of Tehran, surrounded by people trying and failing to keep her alive. In another era we would have known about her — if at all — only through the written word and maybe a still photo, if photo editors decided its newsworthiness outweighed its horror. But today, a cell phone-camera video of her has spread around the world via YouTube and Twitter.com.
And the image – although its validity has not been confirmed – has become a symbol of the uprising that has swept, and is sweeping, the Islamic Republic of Iran. Some are even calling the continuing protests "Neda's Revolution."
She is, according to a BBC Persian TV interview with her fiance, Neda Agha-Soltan. She was stuck in traffic with her music teacher near where huge street protests were taking place Saturday. She got hot and got out of the car, her fiance said. Witnesses reported that paramilitaries in civilian clothes deliberately aimed at her chest and shot. She died on the street.
And now the world has seen it – despite vast attempts by the Iranian regime to stifle news reports of the continuing protests. Iranians have been protesting since elections June 12, in which incumbent President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was declared the winner over a more moderate challenger, Mir Hussein Mousavi. Mousavi and his supporters say the election was stolen.
During the continuing protests, Iran's government says, at least 17 protesters have been killed. One pro-Mousavi rally drew hundreds of thousands of people. About a thousand protesters in Tehran Monday were broken up with tear gas and police with clubs.
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