Iran crisis: Her name is Neda

The young martyr

Many have died tragic – and silent – deaths in the post-election violence in Iran. But one woman, Neda Agha Soltan, became a symbol with her death caught on video. Neda’s sniper death at the hands of the basiji militia has become a thorn in the side of the Iranian government (which knows how much martyrdom resonates among its population) and a cause celebré abroad, with even US President Barack Obama commenting the “heartbreaking” story.

Neda was later buried in a southern Tehran cemetary, with memorial services banned by the government. Neda’s fiance, Caspian Makan, called her a “beam of light” who “couldn’t stand the injustice of it all. All she wanted was the proper vote of the people to be counted.”

Here, Makan comments further on her story in a Persian interview transcribed exclusively for altmuslim.com (Note that the video referenced by Makan is shown after his comments and may be disturbing to watch):

Gray haired man [in the video] is her music teacher not her father.

Her desire was was freedom for the Iranian people. She did not support Musavi nor Ahmadinejad.

Helicopters where firing live bullets into the crowed, I was at another protest in which my phone ran and I saw her name and I picked up the phone and expecting to hear her voice but it was her sister who told me that Nedah aziz [my sweet Neda] was martyred.

The bullet was from a large gun. She was not in the middle of the major protest. They stop to get out of their car which was stuck in traffic for nearly an hour. She steps out and in a span of six minutes she dies after receiving a bullet to the heart.

They rush her to the hospital in another car. She had nothing in her hand, no rocks or any displays of green. She was a simple 26 year old, she was sweet, a ray of light and very peace loving.

I wonder what they have to say about killing someone like Neda? Do they have any answer for that.

We were separated for about 2 weeks to make a decision on whether we wanted to get married. We saw each other a day before she was killed. We stumbled across the issues of the current riots in which they would order, I asked her not no participate but she insisted that she wanted to go and be counted and stand with her people. I am not a person who was going to impose my will on her and force her not to go.

We want our rights, our rights are logical in which we want our basic freedoms which are not any different than for any other people.

There was fighting between 4 p.m and 6 p.m. but she took a route to get to her house and not to go and protest. Her soul had a burning voice for freedom and I think that her voice has reached the people.

It is not just about Neda, there are others who died like her. They wanted to decide the direction of the bullet. They wanted to start arresting the perpetrator.

Unfortunately, they did not allow us to have a public mourning. the mosque in which we held the service was on Shariati street. There was a conflict with the authorities with respect to even having a public mourning even in our house.

She did not vote, we did not have a desire to vote, on the day of the vote she did not leave the house. As I stated she was not supporting either side. Her vision was to pursue to freedom but did not feel that it would be attained through either these two options.

She was at Azad University, she was interested in philosophy of religion. Then she started music.

I thank the entire people of Iran and the rest of the world that have sent they condolences, which proves that Neda’s voice reached the world in which to pursue freedom in a way so that no more innocent blood is shed.

-Caspian Makan

Zahed Amanullah is associate editor of altmuslim.com. He is based in London, England


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