Saturday, July 18, 2009

The death of Iranian Student

Neda Agha-Soltan, Iranian woman killed in Tehran protests, told friend 'it's just one bullet'

The brave Iranian woman killed during a rally in Tehran did not fear death even as the government threatened to crack down on protesters.

"Don't worry, it's just one bullet and it's over," she told a friend, the Los Angelas Times reported.
Neda Agha-Soltan, a beautiful 26-year-old philosophy student whose murder has made her a martyr to the Iranian opposition, was determined to support the protesters, friend and music teacher Hamid Panahi said.

Panahi is the frantic man seen in the graphic 40-second YouTube video that made Soltan an international icon.

"Don't be afraid, don't be afraid, Neda dear," Panahi told her repeatedly. "Don't be afraid."
Neda's fiancé, Kaspin Makan, said she didn't support either side in Iran's recent disputed election, saying she simply "wanted freedom for all."

The election resulted in a landslide victory for incumbent hard-liner President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

According to a friend, Neda, Panahi and two others were on their way to a demonstration near Tehran's Freedom Square around 6:30 p.m. Saturday.

When they got out of their car, they heard a crack and were shocked to see Neda on the ground.
"We were stuck in traffic and we got out and stood to watch, and without her throwing a rock or anything they shot her," Panahi said. "It was just one bullet."

According to Panahi, witnesses at the scene described the shooter as among a group of plainclothes security or militia who were stationed in the area.

Neda studied philosophy at Tehran University and took Turkish language courses to become a tour guide. She has been described by family and friends as gentle and mischievous.

"She was a person full of joy," Panahi said. "She was a beam of light. I'm so sorry. I was so hopeful for this woman."

But the government warned her family against holding a public funeral for her, and opposition leaders have called on supporters in Iran and around the world to hold a protest in her honor on Thursday.

"When they kill an innocent child, this is not justice. This is not religion. In no way is this acceptable," Panahi said.

"And I'm certain that the one who shot her will not get a pass from God."

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