IRAN: Footage of woman apparently shot in Tehran galvanizes opposition
A disturbing video showing a young woman purportedly shot in the streets of Tehran is becoming a rallying symbol for opponents of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
It is one of many images and video posted on the Internet that seem to show the violence of today’s crackdown in the capital, where police and pro-government militiamen fired tear gas and water cannons at stone-throwing demonstrators protesting a disputed election.
It is not possible to verify the authenticity of these images, but they have been uploaded repeatedly on YouTube, Facebook and other sites.
A copy of the video was also emailed to The Times. It seems to show a woman lying in the street with blood spurting from her chest. A man leans over, trying to stop the bleeding with his hands.
The footage, which can be viewed on YouTube, is extremely graphic. The identity of the woman could not be independently confirmed. But she is referred to on Twitter as Neda.
"#Neda: You are the VOICE of the people. You are a call to FREEDOM.....rip," readd one of the many tweets about her apparent slaying.
CNN reports that pictures of the woman are appearing on posters in Tehran and she is being hailed as a martyr. The network broadcast an excerpt of the video with the face of the woman blurred out.
Iranian Americans also downloaded the video and used it to make posters, which were held up at a demonstration today outside the Federal Building in Westwood.
— Alexandra Zavis and Amber Smith