Neda Agha Soltan, the 26-year-old woman who was shot dead at a demonstration in Iran, has become a galvanizing figure world over. She risked — and lost — her life supporting calls for freedom and justice in Iran after the highly-contested election that kept Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in power.
The be precise, it is the image of Ms. Soltan’s bloody and lifeless body that has moved so many people around the world. That video image is accessible because of social media.
As the demonstrations progressed, the Iranian government shut down Facebook and YouTube for an estimated 23 million Iranian users. But a brave and resourceful videographer sent the footage to friends who knew how to get around the censors. His effort made it possible for millions worldwide to see Ms. Soltan’s death, and subsequently, to praise her life and what she stood up for.
Throughout history, there have been images that symbolized various struggles. The image of Ms. Soltan’s violent and tragic death is the unforgettable symbol of the post-election turmoil in Iran.
Rest in peace, Neda Agha Soltan.