July 30th, 2009
04:24 PM ET

Italy's capital to get a 'Neda Street'

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/WORLD/meast/06/23/iran.neda.profile/art.neda.jpg caption="Neda Agha-Soltan was gunned down on a Tehran street on June 20."]

Hada Messia

Rome is going to name a street after the Neda Agha-Soltan - the slain symbol of Iran's opposition movement.

The city's council voted earlier this month to dub a thoroughfare "Neda Street" on a motion from council member Alessandro Onorato.

The gesture reflects the worldwide sympathy for Iranians who have been jailed, killed or injured protesting last month's controversial presidential election results. Rome's online news outlet has received many messages of support for the move from Italians and others outside the country.

"The street where Neda was killed is already known internationally as 'Neda Street.' I am proud that Rome - capital of peace, tolerance and freedom - will also have its 'Neda Street,'" Onorato said in a news release after the vote was made.

Agha-Soltan, 26, was shot in street protests on June 20. Her last moments were captured on a shaky video, probably shot with a cell phone, and sent out for the world to see. Iranians on Thursday converged on her gravesite in Tehran, Iran, to mourn her death.

Rome officials say the date and location of the street naming is still to be announced and months might go by before this takes place.

Onorato's press office said that officials have begun looking for a
street and don't know whether it will end up being in the central historic center, in the city's periphery, or in a new development.

"Neda will be for Rome a symbol of courage and freedom," Onorato said.

"To name a street after someone means to remember of all of those who have lost their lives or have been imprisoned while asking for freedom and democracy in Iran."

Onorato doubts that the name will have any impact on the Iranian government's actions, but said the purpose of the move is to show Iranians they are not alone in their situation.

The council decision was made on July 9 to coincide with the 10th anniversary of the Iranian student uprising.

"Perhaps this might not be the right opportunity, maybe the regime will through violence and the cruelest of repressions manage to sweep it under the rug," Onorato said. "What matters to me is that the voice of the young Iranians does not remain an isolated one, and that countries, like Italy, send them a clear
message. In the long run, the objective tendencies always work in favor of the forces that fight dictatorship."

Filed under: Iran
soundoff (5 Responses)
  1. Tina

    Thank you ITALIA for showing support of other nations fighting for freedom. And thank you CNN for informing the world about it.

    July 31, 2009 at 7:57 am |
  2. Persiano

    Thank you Italy from the bottom of our heart.....

    July 31, 2009 at 2:00 am |
  3. Sabrina In Las Vegas

    This is a good way to remember someone's tribute to the world.

    July 31, 2009 at 1:42 am |
  4. Faye

    Thanks to Italians for recognizing this important movement in the name of FREEDOM, it's a lot more than what UN has done for all the people that are getting killed in Iran EVERY DAY.

    July 30, 2009 at 6:16 pm |
  5. Kianna

    This made me tear up, it is so moving to see the world as a whole stand with Iran. One day, soon I hope, the Iranian people will be truly free, my family in Iran, and all families not just in Iran but around the world deserve to be free. Its also nice to see the Iran Election Fallout back in the news.. it was overshadowed so greatly by Michael Jacksons death, and while that is important he is only one person, Iran is a country of millions of people whose fate is not only in their own hands but also in ours.

    July 30, 2009 at 5:06 pm |