Sunday, June 21, 2009

Iranian marchers: "Don't be scared! Don't be scared! We are all together!"

Yesterday was the bloodiest day yet for the Iranian uprising, as the government began to ratchet up the violence. So the marchers in this video, taken today, are chanting, "Natarsim! Natarsim! Ma hameh ba ham hastim," which translates to, "Don't be scared! Don't be scared! We are all together!"

For me, the words recall the heartbreaking scene from yesterday. A young woman named Neda Agha-Soltan (Neda means "the voice" in Farsi) was shot in the chest by the Basij religious militia while she was standing with her father watching the protests. As she is lying on the street taking her last breaths and her father and a bystander are trying to stop the bleeding, her father says, "Neda, don't be afraid. Neda, don't be afraid. Neda, stay with me. Neda, stay with me!"

The man who posted the video (I warn you it's graphic, and you won't soon forget it) wrote:
[She] was shot by a basij member hiding on the rooftop of a civilian house. He had clear shot at the girl and could not miss her. However, he aimed straight her heart. I am a doctor, so I rushed to try to save her. But the impact of the gunshot was so fierce that the bullet had blasted inside the victim's chest, and she died in less than 2 minutes.
So today, there are two things I can't get out of my mind: Neda's face and "Don't be scared. Don't be scared. We are all together."

I now believe the days of the hardline clerics' rule in Iran are numbered. I think Ayatollah Khamenei is more afraid than the people he is killing in the streets. Right now, the government is running around trying to prevent any mosque in Tehran from holding a memorial service for Neda, as if the whole world doesn't already know about this crime, as if the Iranian people are going to forget her name. But I doubt the ayatollah will be so lucky.

UPDATE: Here is the correct picture of Neda Agha-Soltan, provided to the AP by her fiance.
File:Neda Agha-Soltan.jpg


Amy said...

Wow. That is just horrific. To imagine that just happening in the streets, where you'd go to buy groceries or get your haircut, is absolutely unreal.

Thanks for these posts, Dave. This is something that is all too easily ignored by those of us in the West.

Camp Papa said...

I think it was Stalin who said that a single death is a tragedy, but a million deaths are merely statics. (Of course, he was a sociopathic maniac.) Anyway the video and picure of Neda Soltan should drive the tragedy of the Iranian oppression home to all.

May God give her peace and may her death contribute to the eventual freedom of Iran.

Sara said...

That is just heartbreaking. I have hope that it wasn't in vain, but it is still just a tragic loss of life.
I appreciate your posting on all of this.