Iranian authorities are doing everything in their power to stop the now-international mourning and remembrance of Neda Salehi Agha Soltan, 26, as friends and witnesses described to the media the events leading up to her death.
It has been reported that Neda’s family has been ordered to remove black mourning posters from outside their home in the suburbs of Iran, fearing that the house could become “a place of pilgrimage.” State-controlled media has been silent on her much-publicized, shocking death, and have prohibited a public funeral or wake for the young woman. A memorial service at a mosque is also forbidden.
Neda’s friend and music teacher, Hamid Panahi, was with her at the time of the shooting. He described the incident to the LA Times.
“We were stuck in traffic and we got out and stood to watch, and without her throwing a rock or anything they shot her,” he said. “It was just one bullet.”
Witnesses allege the shooter was a Basiji militia sniper. Despite efforts to transport the wounded woman to an Emergency Room, she was dead on arrival at the hospital. Although many of her friends and family are afraid to speak out, Panahi added:
“They know me,” he said. “They know where I am. They can come and get me whenever they want. My time has gone. We have to think about the young people.”