June 23rd, 2009
04:36 PM ET

Women at forefront of Iranian protests

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/WORLD/meast/06/23/iran.women/art.iran.women.afp.gi.jpg caption="Women have taken to the streets of Tehran. "This shows the new face of Iran," one expert says."]
Golnaz Esfandiari
Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty

A woman named Neda has become an icon of the ongoing antigovernment protests in Iran.

Millions of people in Iran and throughout the world have now seen a graphic amateur video of Neda's apparent death on a street in central Tehran, after having been shot in the chest while attending one of the rallies with her father.

Some in Iran are calling for June 20, the day of the violent crackdown on protesters that was apparently Neda's last, to become known as "Neda's Day." Neda mean "voice" in Persian.

Neda was reportedly buried hastily in Tehran's Behesht Zahra cemetery on June 21. According to unconfirmed reports, authorities banned a mourning ceremony for her at a mosque in the capital today.


Filed under: 360° Radar • Iran
soundoff (20 Responses)
  1. Davood

    We Iranians do not need a new president...We need a whole new government...down with dictatorship !

    Freedom and democracy now !

    June 24, 2009 at 11:28 am |
  2. Marilyn Macey

    My prayers for all the strong women of Iran, may God be with you.

    June 24, 2009 at 11:16 am |
  3. Patrick Feenan, Belfast, Ireland.

    Not much comment here about the fifty – five people who have been killed in Warzistan ( the Afghan/Pakistan border ) yesterday, or the 142 killed in Farah Province, in Afghanistan, last month, thirty women, twenty – five kids and eighty fathers, sons and brothers among them. Why the selectivity? A case of another man's terrorist is somebody elses freedom fighter? What happened to that Iranian girl was out of order, but how do we know that the Iran election was not above board?

    Has anybody any concrete proof that the election was " fixed? " Didn't John Mc Cain sing, " Bomb Iran, bomb Iran, " to the tune of the Beach Boys song? He would have if he'd won the election in the USA, but Obama should ignore him and be his own man. Talk to countries, don't threaten them, that Bush strategy didn't work.

    June 24, 2009 at 11:02 am |
  4. Eizza

    I understand that Iran's nuclear program is a threat to the world but what i don't understand is U.S. and the rest of the world interfering in Iran's INTERNAL AFFAIRS...thats too much! Just because the person we don't like gets elected as Iran's President doesn't mean that we declare the election fraud.
    Every country is entitled to run their own affairs and we (U.S.) don't need to push ourselves into everyone's business. President Obama had the right approch at the beginning but after being pressured from Republicans and some media outlets he has taken a strong stand, which is fine but lets not get into this too much....we have enough problems of our own back home.

    June 23, 2009 at 8:41 pm |
  5. Michael Wickler

    Tim Gibson: I think "it was but a short time ago the people of Iran were shouting Death to America" is because less than thirty years ago we backed the Iraqis in killing up to 1 million of them, and chemically maiming many more.

    The vast majority of Iranians today do not hate us, just like the vast majority of Vietnamese have forgiven us. Time can heal all wounds.

    The haters in Iran are not much different than the haters in the US. They have there own power agendas for doing so. It is not the true voice or will of the vast majority.

    June 23, 2009 at 8:21 pm |
  6. GF, Los Angeles

    I hope the millions of women in America appreciate and utilize all the freedoms we have – the right to vote, work, etc.

    June 23, 2009 at 8:07 pm |
  7. Annie Kate

    If at the heart of the protests is a cry for women rights then no wonder the Guardian council is for the vote being a valid one and the current president being re-elected. Of any of the mid-east muslim countries around Iran and including Iran I don't think any of them have a good track record on how they treat their women or the women having many freedoms. I hope this changes soon....

    June 23, 2009 at 7:44 pm |
  8. shelby r. weaver

    why not change the word from "killed" to "murdered" to the woman who was "murdered" protesting in the streets in Iran. Because if the Iranian gov't does not investigate and apprehend the person(s) who
    murdered this young lady, then the iranian gov't has commited murder
    and i pray that the heavens does not allow this type of gov't to stand as a supreme earthly power. God will always bless our country for not tollerating these kinds of acts from other gov'ts to it's people. I would hope other countries would come to our rescue if this happened to us here in the United States. I would like to think we are instruments of God and it is our responsibility to take action.

    June 23, 2009 at 7:34 pm |
  9. DawnL,CA

    So very sad about Neda. The Iranian people are very strong & smart. They can have their own revolution as we did in the USA. No one came to help us(except France). I'm sorry to say it appears you are on your own with this uprising. Wish you well.Stay safe.

    June 23, 2009 at 7:23 pm |
  10. Joe G. (Illinois)

    I didn’t watch the video.. But if women are at the forefront of Iranian protesters, then they should be able to just walk straight trough the Iranian Guards and pick up the nuke or nukes (Should they have one already or ever have one someday.) I’ m sure Obama would agree.. But seriously, I don’t think this is all that funny.. To use the death of a woman for such despicable ends is very trailer trash. Just what degree of lies!! Iranians want to kill all their women..?! Is that what they are trying to portray?

    June 23, 2009 at 7:08 pm |
  11. jennifer inman

    I just saw on the news that Iranians are now being told not to wear green when they protest because it is too dangerous,so this Friday June 26, I am asking everyone to wear green in support of all Iranian women and the courage they have displayed in the face of such terror. I hope that EVERY WOMAN,especially our first lady Michelle Obama will join together in a show of solidarity.I don't tweet ,blog ,or have a facebook. I hope whoever reads this spreads the word and stands united with the women of Iran. Come on Michelle Obama , Hilary Clinton, ALL Women let's UNITE, for Neda. President Obama, join us throw on a green tie. I hope everyone at CNN will also join in. If you read this wear green, If you won't stand for them, who will stand for you?

    June 23, 2009 at 7:04 pm |
  12. Tim Gibson

    It was but a short time ago the people of Iran were shouting Death to America. Now they cry for our help, as they also have done in the past.

    Hardline or not. Each time we have helped any group in the region they have in the end turned on us. Let their power struggle remain their power struggle. Or do we redo the 50's when we did in fact turn the tide in Iran though a CIA funded coup.

    June 23, 2009 at 6:53 pm |
  13. Anne NH

    There's a Native American saying that says a people are cannot be beaten as long as their women fight.

    Some military forces teach their soldiers that if they have to choose between a male or a female soldier, strike down the woman because she'll likely be the more dangerous threat.

    Nothing is fiercer than a female protecting her young.

    If you want to bring people out of poverty, provide monetary assistance to the women and not the men: men will spend it on themselves; women will spend it on their children and their community (banks finally figured this out: microloans to women in countries such as India have improved a family's quality of life well beyond the $100 or so spent).

    If you want to beat a people into submission, concentrate the attacks on the women (the "rape policies" in wars, from parts of Africa to the Bosnian war, prove this one easily).

    When women believe in something, it goes beyond what they think is right: it radiates from their heart. As long as the women fight, this war in Iran can be won.

    June 23, 2009 at 6:49 pm |
  14. viki

    Plese mr Soltany [ Neda's dad} your Neda is in milionha Irany'S heart, you became milions more father,we all plead with you to take your sad, broken heart to a strong movement and lead young men and woman of your town, don't let the blood of our beloved Neda to be washed and forgoten, god be with you , our hearts aches and our tears dosn't stop untill feel the free land of Iran.

    June 23, 2009 at 6:47 pm |
  15. nate

    Why not have the Mir-Hossein Mousavi suporters each mail there vote to the UN or to the US to see the real election results?

    June 23, 2009 at 6:33 pm |
  16. Zohre

    *Once married, must have the husband's signature on a legal form
    in order to leave the country!
    *Can open Banking account for children, but is not allowed to
    withdraw or close the account!
    *We get half share of the inheretance as our brothers do!
    *Our legal signature as a legal witness counts half; therefore 2 women will be equal to 1 man in this case!
    We are looking forward to grant our rights.
    CNN; you may contact me by my email.

    June 23, 2009 at 5:53 pm |
  17. Philoan M. Tran - Houston

    After years of represssion, the women of Iran (especially younger women) are finally voicing their demands for equal rights. Hurrah for women's rights, and women elsewhere should take note and follow the examples of these courageous Iranian women who are defying the brutal government to speak up!

    June 23, 2009 at 5:08 pm |
  18. Melissa

    Power to the women of Iran. Its about time you get to come into your own.

    June 23, 2009 at 4:54 pm |
  19. Lisa in CA

    What many of these countries do not yet seem to understand - you cannot control technology or the internet. As more and more of the "younger" generations have this access, change will occur. It cannot help but occur. The governments can welcome it and make the adjustments ... or the adjustments will be made for them. The masses will always outnumber the elected.

    June 23, 2009 at 4:32 pm |
  20. Isabel, Brazil

    Iran, which seemed very closed and homogeneous, has changed much socially in these years. Women are the forces of social change. They have studied and passed the men in educational indicators.

    Iran is a country of young people: 70% of Iranians are under 30 years. Therefore, the accession of new technologies so strong that, today, are this kind of info-weapons in the fight against tyranny.

    The framework for renewal and increase of educational level of women now confronts against the authoritarianism of the political-religious.

    Neda is a picture of this. The image of her death, so touching, sad and cruel, will be used to it!

    June 23, 2009 at 3:49 pm |