Neda Agha Soltan, whose first name means "the calling" in Farsi, was killed by a gunshot to the heart, and her agonizing death in the street was filmed by at least two bystanders using cellphone cameras.
The clips have been distributed worldwide on sites such as YouTube and inside Iran via Bluetooth. Opposition protesters have carried pictures of her bloodied face to demonstrations and mourning ceremonies, where she is hailed as "a martyr" — a status with deep resonance in Shiite Islam, Iran's dominant faith.
In the videos, Agha Soltan is dressed traditionally — wearing a head scarf and a coat that extends past her knees. Seemingly out of nowhere she is struck by a bullet, falls to the ground and starts bleeding heavily from her nose and mouth.
A man can be heard shouting "Neda, don't be afraid" and "Stay with us" as her eyes roll back and her face becomes covered with blood.
It is not clear who killed her. Bystanders say she was shot by members of Iran's voluntary paramilitary force, the Basij.
At the family's modest travel agency, where Agha Soltan once worked, tense relatives declined to comment. According to sources close to the family, authorities have told them not to talk to the media.
Worldwide, people with no connection to her felt touched by Agha Soltan's violent death.
On YouTube, users posted tributes; one had written a song called "The Call of My Country."
"I swear on your last innocent look," a male voice sings, "that we will take back your vote from deceivers, that we will always confront oppressors, that we will continue your path for all eternity."
Martyrdom during periods of political turmoil has a history in Iran of driving further unrest, as Shiite Muslims commemorate the third, seventh and 40th days after the death.
In the period leading up to Iran's 1979 revolution, which toppled Western-backed Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlavi, the burials of protesters who had been proclaimed to be martyrs, and the commemorations of their deaths, repeatedly brought people into the streets for a year before the shah's ouster.
An eyewitness reported that about 70 people gathered on Monday, the third day after Agha Soltan's death, at the Niloufar mosque in the middle-class Tehran neighborhood of Abbas Abad.
On the mosque's doors a leaflet said, "There is no commemoration here for Neda Agha Soltan." In the Islamic republic, all mosques are under state control.
After 10 minutes, 20 members of the Basij showed up on motorcycles and started threatening mourners.
The mourners quickly dispersed."We will be back," one said. "She will not be forgotten."
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Source : http://seattletimes.nwsource.com