ILA - On June 20, 2009, Neda Salehi (27) , along with her father, were participating in a protest march on Karegar Avenue in the city of Tehran when she was shot by members of the Iranian Basij volunteer militia.
Undated amateur videos of Neda's apparent death were uploaded to Facebook and YouTube, and spread across the internet virally. The videos were accompanied by a message from an anonymous individual who claimed to have been present when the video was recorded: "At 19:05 June 20th Place: Karegar Ave., at the corner crossing Khosravi St. and Salehi st. A young woman who was standing aside with her father watching the protests was shot by a basij member hiding on the rooftop of a civilian house. He had clear shot at the girl and could not miss her. However, he aimed straight her heart. I am a doctor, so I rushed to try to save her. But the impact of the gunshot was so fierce that the bullet had blasted inside the victim's chest, and she died in less than 2 minutes. The protests were going on about 1 kilometer away in the main street and some of the protesting crowds were running from tear gas used among them, towards Salehi St. The film is shot by my friend who was standing beside me. Please let the world know."
The existence of the graphic images has provoked a mixed reaction. Among those who emailed , there was of course unease but also a wish that they be seen by as wide an audience as possible to convey what is going in Iran and to highlight the dangers the demonstrators face. One thing is certain; Neda is set to become a symbol of Iran's current agony.