Iran

Neda Soltan’s Arbayeen

Forty days have passed since she was murdered.  This is her Arbayeen.

neda

Although, according to the Fars News Agency – the sister organisation to Press TV – there is some good news. Neda is alive and well and living in Greece. She’ll be home soon.

This is what Neda’s mother, Hajar, has said:

HAJAR SOLTAN (translated): I want to thank politicians and leaders from every country at all levels who remembered my child. Her death has been so painful. Words can never describe my true feelings.

But knowing that the world cried for her, that has comforted me. I am proud of her. The world sees her as a symbol and that makes me happy.

DI BAIN: Hajar says her daughter wasn’t a political activist. Instead she was young girl who wanted to be a mother one day.

HAJAR SOLTAN (translated): It was all about being young and feeling passionate about freedom. She wasn’t political. She didn’t belong to any party or group. She didn’t support any faction. Every other young Iranian was there and she was one of them.

She was very special. She finished high school and then got married. Philosophy and theology were her favourite subjects. She was a spiritual person. She believed in God. She loved music.

You can’t blame young people for going out and wanting to feel free. She had dreams like any other young person but she wasn’t given the chance to make her dreams come true.

But there was one dream she spoke about very openly – that she longed to become a mother. She used to ask me, how does it feel to be a mother? What is it like? And this for me is the most painful thing of all. She got married but she never had a child. She lived with her husband but they separated after three years and for the past couple of years she was living with me.

Today, we commemorate all those who have been murdered by the Islamic Republic of Iran. We do not know how many have been slaughtered. The official casualty list stands only at 34. There are others who believe that hundreds of innocents have died at the hands of the Islamic Republic, in this latest attempt to crush the democratic aspirations of the people of Iran. The Guardian thinks the death toll is at least 80. Many more have been imprisoned. Some are being raped and tortured.

The Guardian has a live blog of today’s events here.

UPDATE

Via Twitter – Neda’s mother says “‘for reasons I can’t say, I cannot attend the ceremony of my own daughter'”

UPDATE 2

From the Guardian – here are the scenes at the graveyard:

UPDATE

Lindsey Hilsum on Channel 4 says:

For weeks we’ve been trying to find people who have fled Iran after being arrested or injured in the demonstrations. It’s been difficult – not because such people do not exist, but because they’re all so scared.

Those who have come to Europe know that if they speak out, their relatives back home are likely to be threatened or worse by the basiij militia and Revolutionary Guard.

But she has found somebody prepared to talk about what is going on in Iran. Why don’t you find out for yourself?

Gene adds:

The demonstrators chant: “Independence, Liberty, Iranian Republic,” instead of Islamic Republic.

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