[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/WORLD/meast/06/21/iran.woman.twitter/art.woman.shot.jpg caption="People tend to a woman called Neda as she lies on the street."]
For The Daily Beast
Last night I watched a disturbing video clip that has captivated Iranians and audiences around the world:
On a backstreet, a girl in her twenties, wearing blue jeans and white sneakers, is shot. The bullet has apparently pierced her chest. She collapses to the ground as a few men rush to help her and apply pressure to her gunshot wound. A man tells her: “Natars”—Farsi for “Don’t be scared.” Suddenly, out of her mouth and nostrils blood gushes forth. Then her eyes lose their focus and her head bends towards the camera. By now her face is soaked with blood. The same man who had told the girl not to be afraid now shouts: “Neda, bemoon!”—“Neda, stay with me!”
But Neda cannot stay. She dies.
Iran’s constitution has no Second Amendment. Only the state’s officials are allowed to bear arms. Neda was killed by a member of Basij paramilitary forces Saturday in Tehran. The video clip of her murder has circulated widely, turning Neda into a rallying cry for many struggling in the streets. (CNN ran the video in a pixilated version because of its graphic nature.)
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