Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Neda Fiancé Says She Was Deliberately Targeted

I don't doubt that she was targeted and if this deliberate murder of Neda Agha-Soltani was intended to send a message, it certainly has.

And backfired badly.
An Iranian woman shot dead during an election protest rally was deliberately targeted by undercover soldiers, her fiancé said today.

Caspian Makan claimed Neda Agha-Soltani had been picked out by Basij paramilitaries before being shot in the heart.

He also described his desperate attempts to dissuade her from going out in the streets on the day she was killed.

But the student, 27, told him the protests were worth attending 'even if a bullet hits my heart.'

'Unfortunately, that is how she died,' Mr Makan, a photographer, said. 'A bullet hit her heart and her lung, and maybe five or six minutes later, she died.'

Foreign media are banned from reporting on 'non-official' events in Iran and dozens of journalists have been arrested or deported in the latest crisis.

But the video of Neda bleeding to death has been broadcast across the globe and has become a rallying point for protesters

Friends have posted images and accounts of her life online. She appears to have been a happy, vivacious woman who embraced both traditional Iranian values and a more liberal lifestyle.

Some photographs show her in dress hugging her fiancé; others are of her in the traditional veil associated with stricter forms of Islam.

The second of three children, Neda's father is a civil servant while her mother is a housewife.

She had been studying Islamic philosophy at Azid university in Tehran but had dropped the course to pursue a career in tourism, taking private lessons and learning Turkish.

She had been to Thailand and Dubai as well as Turkey with friends.
Music was one of her great passions. She had been taking piano lessons and was said to be a gifted singer.

Mr Makan met her a few months ago when she was on holiday in Izmir, Turkey, a town on the Mediterranean.

He described Neda as a plain-spoken woman who loved poetry - Iran's Rumi and America's Robert Frost were her favourites and that her pacifism marked her out as a true Iranian.

'She didn't believe that we always have to fight and quarrel and be violent and have death,' he said.

'Neda only ever said that she wanted one thing, she wanted democracy and freedom for the people of Iran.

'There's only one thing (Iranians) must fight and that's ignorance. And you don't fight ignorance with a sword or a gun. You turn on a light.'
Consider the lights on.


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