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Posts Tagged ‘ Neda Soltan ’

  • 28 May 2010
  • Posted By Setareh Tabatabaie
  • 2 Comments
  • Events in Iran, Human Rights in Iran, Iran Election 2009

Regime doth protest too much

It seems that despite any claims to the contrary, the Islamic Republic is still at least a little bit fearful for its safety and survival with the upcoming anniversary of the June 2009 elections.

This can be seen in the detaining of artists, hikers, Canadian journalists, and French academics (among many others). It can be seen in the execution of Kurds, Afghans, Bahai’s, and election protesters. However, perhaps the most controversial, the most offensive, and the most un-Islamic, is the recent declaration of a documentary to be released by Iran’s Intelligence Ministry to “complete the removal of ambiguities surrounding the murder of Neda Agha Soltan” and provide “new evidence” about the West’s version of events. In other words, to prove that Neda’s murder was staged.

I understand the obsession with Western conspiracies, as there have been many in Iran’s history. I myself am often the first to point to an underlying conspiracy as an explanation for things. Nonetheless, it is clear to any reasonable person that Neda’s death is not a conspiracy. If the initial evidence was not enough to prove it, the regime’s reaction was.

Neda’s family was threatened to make false confessions attributing her death to the West. Her family was prohibited from holding a funeral for her, despite funerals being very important in Iranian and especially Muslim culture. Neda’s fiancé and the doctor who tried to save her life in the video, both scared for their lives, left the country. Her grave was desecrated by supporters of the regime. And now, after all this time, the regime brings it up, yet again, by pointing its finger to others.

But I do not want to argue that Neda’s death was indeed the work of the Islamic Republic, because there are many others who have done that before me. Rather, I would like to point out the regime’s psychological insecurity, at bringing up a death from nearly a year ago. This documentary, like the recent arrests, executions, and detentions, is to be released shortly before the one-year anniversary of the June 12 elections. These events all happening in the span of a few days are more than a coincidence; they are to continuously dissuade people from participating in expected protests. This documentary is likely meant to undermine the powerful symbol she has become as well as the legitimacy of the opposition movement in Iran.

But how long is a family to suffer? The Islamic Republic ought to stop exploiting and hurting the Iranian people simply to allay its own fears and insecurities. Besides, who is really going to believe that the blood coming from Neda’s death was from a ketchup bottle?

As one of the many who cried upon watching Neda’s death, I can only imagine how her family must feel. My advice to the Islamic Republic: show a little Muslim compassion, it is what we are best known for. Let the dead rest in peace. And let the living finally move on.

  • 1 December 2009
  • Posted By Jamal Abdi
  • 2 Comments
  • Human Rights in Iran

Iran Protesters #1 in Time Person of the Year Poll

TIME is polling its readers to find out who should be the 2009 Person of the Year and guess what–currently leading as the number one candidate are the Iran Protesters.

This is great news and a reminder to the world that the Iranian people continue their struggle for democracy, even when the headlines focus elsewhere.  Many of you have joined the campaign to encourage the editors of TIME to make Neda Solton, who has come to personify the Iranian people’s battle, Person of the Year.  Today’s poll shows that these efforts are paying off.

There are a total of 10 candidates, including Barack Obama (who won in 2008 and is the current runner up), Steve Jobs (ranked third) and the Somali Pirates (currently ranked last).

Head over to Time.com to view the candiates, see the current results, and cast your vote.

  • 25 November 2009
  • Posted By David Elliott
  • 8 Comments
  • Human Rights in Iran, Iranian American activism

Make Neda Time Magazine’s Person of the Year

NedaIn 1951, Iran’s first democratically elected leader, Mohammad Mossadegh, was recognized by Time Magazine and the world. He led his life based on the ideals of democracy and Iran’s sovereignty. Now, another Iranian who gave her life striving for freedom and justice needs to be recognized.

Her name is Neda.

Time Magazine awards the title to the person who “most affected the news and our lives, for good or ill, and embodied what was important about the year.” Neda moved us to tears, gave us hope and moved millions to take action – all without uttering a word.

Her impact is undeniable. She has come to symbolize the struggle for democracy in Iran.

The campaign to nominate Neda for Time’s Person of the year began by ordinary people in Iran. NIAC wants to amplify their voice and enable you to do the same.

The Iranian government has done their best to quell her impact – calling her murder staged and refusing to let people visit her unmarked grace. Her life was ended by a single bullet, but you can make her live forever through a single email.

Tell Time Magazine’s Managing Editor, Richard Stengel to recognize Neda’s impact by making her the Time Magazine’s 2009 Person of the Year.

  • 30 July 2009
  • Posted By David Elliott
  • 1 Comments
  • Events in Iran, Human Rights in Iran, Iran Election 2009

Police Break Up Mourning Ceremony

BBC News has the latest:

Iranian police have arrested mourners who had gathered at a cemetery in Tehran for a memorial to those killed in post-election violence, reports say.

Opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi tried to join mourners at the graveside of Neda Agha Soltan, whose death became a symbol of post-election unrest.

But reports say he was forced to leave the cemetery shortly after his arrival.

Other witnesses said that mourners clung to his car, chanting “Mousavi, we support you”.

[…]

Mr Mousavi got out of his car and walked up to Neda’s grave, but was then surrounded by police, the witnesses told AFP news agency.

“Mousavi was not allowed to recite the Koran verses said on such occasions and he was immediately surrounded by anti-riot police who led him to his car,” a witness said.

“Hundreds have gathered around Neda Agha Soltan’s grave to mourn her death and other victims’ deaths… police arrested some of them … dozens of riot police also arrived and are trying to disperse the crowd,” another witness told Reuters.

The occasion, called arbayeen, is a Shia Muslim event that marks the 40th day after a death. Mousavi and Karroubi had requested a permit for the gathering, but the request was denied by the Interior Ministry.

[T]he authorities are particularly sensitive about these “arbayeen” turning into political demonstrations.

That is exactly what happened during the Islamic Revolution 30 years ago in a cycle that helped lead to the downfall of the Shah, our correspondent says.

Update: A reader correctly points that although the word arbayeen is often used in Iran, the word in Farsi for the 40th day of mourning is “cheleh.”

Sign the Petition

 

7,349 signatures

Tell Google: Stop playing Persian Gulf name games!

May 14, 2012
Larry Page
Chief Executive Officer
Google Inc.
1600 Amphitheatre Parkway
Mountain View, California 94043

Dear Mr. Page:

It has come to our attention that Google has begun omitting the title of the Persian Gulf from its Google Maps application. This is a disconcerting development given the undisputed historic and geographic precedent of the name Persian Gulf, and the more recent history of opening up the name to political, ethnic, and territorial disputes. However unintentionally, in adopting this practice, Google is participating in a dangerous effort to foment tensions and ethnic divisions in the Middle East by politicizing the region’s geographic nomenclature. Members of the Iranian-American community are overwhelmingly opposed to such efforts, particularly at a time when regional tensions already have been pushed to the brink and threaten to spill over into conflict. As the largest grassroots organization in the Iranian-American community, the National Iranian American Council (NIAC) calls on Google to not allow its products to become propaganda tools and to immediately reinstate the historically accurate, apolitical title of “Persian Gulf” in all of its informational products, including Google Maps.

Historically, the name “Persian Gulf” is undisputed. The Greek geographer and astronomer Ptolemy referencing in his writings the “Aquarius Persico.” The Romans referred to the "Mare Persicum." The Arabs historically call the body of water, "Bahr al-Farsia." The legal precedent of this nomenclature is also indisputable, with both the United Nations and the United States Board of Geographic Names confirming the sole legitimacy of the term “Persian Gulf.” Agreement on this matter has also been codified by the signatures of all six bordering Arab countries on United Nations directives declaring this body of water to be the Persian Gulf.

But in the past century, and particularly at times of escalating tensions, there have been efforts to exploit the name of the Persian Gulf as a political tool to foment ethnic division. From colonial interests to Arab interests to Iranian interests, the opening of debate regarding the name of the Persian Gulf has been a recent phenomenon that has been exploited for political gain by all sides. Google should not enable these politicized efforts.

In the 1930s, British adviser to Bahrain Sir Charles Belgrave proposed to rename the Persian Gulf, “Arabian Gulf,” a proposal that was rejected by the British Colonial and Foreign offices. Two decades later, the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company resurrected the term during its dispute with Mohammad Mossadegh, the Iranian Prime Minister whose battle with British oil interests would end in a U.S.-sponsored coup d'état that continues to haunt U.S.-Iran relations. In the 1960s, the title “Arabian Gulf” became central to propaganda efforts during the Pan-Arabism era aimed at exploiting ethnic divisions in the region to unite Arabs against non-Arabs, namely Iranians and Israelis. The term was later employed by Saddam Hussein to justify his aims at territorial expansion. Osama Bin Laden even adopted the phrase in an attempt to rally Arab populations by emphasizing ethnic rivalries in the Middle East.

We have serious concerns that Google is now playing into these efforts of geographic politicization. Unfortunately, this is not the first time Google has stirred controversy on this topic. In 2008, Google Earth began including the term “Arabian Gulf” in addition to Persian Gulf as the name for the body of water. NIAC and others called on you then to stop using this ethnically divisive propaganda term, but to no avail. Instead of following the example of organizations like the National Geographic Society, which in 2004 used term “Arabian Gulf” in its maps but recognized the error and corrected it, Google has apparently decided to allow its informational products to become politicized.

Google should rectify this situation and immediately include the proper name for the Persian Gulf in Google Maps and all of its informational products. The exclusion of the title of the Persian Gulf diminishes your applications as informational tools, and raises questions about the integrity and accuracy of information provided by Google.

We strongly urge you to stay true to Google’s mission – “to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful” – without distorting or politicizing that information. We look forward to an explanation from you regarding the recent removal of the Persian Gulf name from Google Maps and call on you to immediately correct this mistake.

Sincerely,

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