Neda Agha-Soltan, the 2009 uprising in Iran and yet more hypocrisy

The June 2009 presidential election in Iran was widely perceived to have been rigged (Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was ‘elected’ president). Millions took to the streets to protest. One of the protesters was a young woman called Neda Agha-Soltan. Neda was shot in the chest by a Basij (security force thug) and died on the street. Her death was captured on mobile phone video and soon found its way on to the internet, where it was seen by millions all around the world. Neda’s last moments were described by TIME Magazine as “probably the most widely witnessed death in human history”. Her death became a rallying point for the pro-democracy movement in Iran, as demonstrations continued throughout the rest of 2009. These pro-democracy demonstrations were eventually crushed by the Iranian regime.

After Neda Agha-Soltan was shot dead, and after the video showing it had gone ‘viral’ on the internet, President Obama spoke about Neda at a press conference. On the same day that Neda was shot dead, 15 civilians, including many children, were killed in Pakistan by US drones. Here’s what Obama had to say about Neda (no mention, of course, about the civillians killed by US drones)…

The following is an hour long documentary about Neda’s death and its aftermath. I find it interesting because it gives some sense of just how many people were protesting on the streets of Iran in 2009, and how brutally the regime responded. The 2009 uprising in Iran is sometimes called the ‘Twitter Revolution’, and of course there was FaceBook et al as well. The 2009 Iranian uprising could be described as a forerunner to what is now happening in North Africa and the Middle East. The famous video of Neda’s death is shown at the start of the documentary (be warned, it’s graphic footage)…

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