(Sorry I was gone so long, ya’ll. Be sure to read Philip’s posts, because he was gone far longer and I love his most recent posts; Steve drew in over a hundred comments on his latest post, so we know we’re getting to the libs!)
Neda, known to bloggers for her Twittering of the protests in Iran, was a beautiful young philosophy student out covering the protests last week when a Basij (Iranian paramilitary who takes orders from the elite Iranian Revolutionary Guard) shot her to death. Here is a short clip of the protest before the shooting (keep an eye on the man in the blue striped shirt–she’s with him, and via Allahpundit at Hot Air, he’s her music teacher):
Minutes later, this was the scene (this is extremely graphic, so be forewarned):
I’ve seen a person die in this fashion before. What’s disturbing to me about this is that Neda was completely innocent. It was the government that killed her, and they did it to suppress the voice that she provided to the world so we could all know the truth about what’s going on in Iran.
Neda was not armed, nor were the protesters with her. They were not throwing rocks, bottles, or any other bludgeons. The Basij (read: coward) who shot her was hiding on a rooftop nearby and didn’t even have the balls to look her in the face. In the second video, you hear her music teacher saying “Neda, don’t be afraid…Neda, stay with me!” in Farsi. So far, 32 have been killed by police and Basij forces, hundreds have been badly injured and thousands have been jailed. All for questioning the outcome of the elections in which Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was supposedly re-elected.
FACT: in more than 50 Iranian states, more votes were cast than there were eligible voters to cast them. FACT: media was shut down in Iran on the day of the elections to halt reporting on the results. FACT: cell phones were jammed by government workers to stop communications during the elections. FACT: interior employees of Ahmadinejad’s government managed to get word out before the election that the government had already rigged the election. FACT: the election was fixed by Ahmadinejad and Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei in an effort to stop the more moderate Mir-Hossein Mousavi from undoing all of the power plays the government had managed to accrue in the past several years.
Internet access has been all but shut down by the government in recent days in an effort to stop news of the protests and military crackdowns from being seen by the rest of the world. Some photos and Twitters are still getting out because of the bravery of Iranians who refuse to be silenced. It took Obama days to speak out against Ahmadinejad’s cruelty. The whole world is watching, and Neda has become a heroine and a rallying cry for those unwilling to accept what’s happening. It should be noted as well that the regime shut down Neda’s memorial service.
This, ladies and gentlemen, is the face of the oppressed: