We are being told that the woman in this picture's name was Neda. She was murdered on the street in Tehran today. The video of her death is one of the most horrifying things that I have ever seen. It is so horrible, that I will never watch it again. She was shot in the chest by a member of the Iranian basij, a group of thugs who are under the protection and influence of the Iranian government. As Neda lay dying the camera is able to get a close up of her face. Beneath the blood that is hemorrhaging from her mouth and nose, you can see that she was beautiful and young. Neda apparently means "voice" in Farsi. I am so sorry that her voice has been so unjustly silenced.
I watched another video of the basij raiding an apartment complex tonight. It is so dark that you can see nothing, but the horrifying screams of the residents reveal so much. This reminds me of the tactics of the Nazi's, who used the Gestapo to perpetuate similar incidents of terror like the Night of Broken Glass. I wonder why the basij were raiding that particular apartment complex? Perhaps the residents were on their rooftop during the daytime shouting out support for the demonstrators. Like most bullies, the thugs waited until the crowds disappeared so that they could terrorize without being challenged.
I keep asking myself why I care so much about what is happening half way around the world. I truly don't know why. I am not friends with anyone who is Iranian, and when I was growing up anti-Iranian sentiment was at its highest. Though I was fortunate enough to have been born in the United States, I am somehow deeply moved by the human story of people who are struggling for their inherent rights. Isn't that statement redundant? The very definition of rights is that they are inherent. Yet time and time again, rights must be fought for and vigorously protected.