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Story Publication logo November 17, 2009

Grave of Iran Protester is Desecrated


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After a hotly contested presidential election that resulted in street riots and a disputed claim to...


The grave of Neda Soltan, the Iranian demonstrator whose murder, captured on a cellphone video, became an international symbol for resistance to the Ahmadinejad regime, has been desecrated, according to eyewitnesses in Tehran.

Neda Agha Soltan was killed at the height of the anti-government protests that rocked Iran during the post-election unrest in June. Within hours of her death on the streets of central Tehran, a shocking video of her death went viral, making her the most iconic victim of the Iranian conflict.

Now the Iranian government appears to be trying to stifle all efforts to make her martyr of the resistance.

Despite enormous regime pressure to keep her family silent, Soltan's parents refused to meekly walk off the public stage that circumstances had tragically ushered them onto. Encouraged by the vocal family of a young man who died while in custody, Soltan's mother publicly condemned the Iranian government.

Soltan's boyfriend, Caspian Makan, also refused to keep silent, emerging in the international media to accuse the Islamic Republic of having targeted Soltan for assassination. He was jailed for 65 days on the personal order of Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei and released in September on the condition he neither speak out nor leave Iran. He fled Iran for an undisclosed location and, although he fears for his safety, he denounced the desecration of Soltan's grave.

"Once again the Islamic Republic of Iran has killed Neda," said Makan, reached at his secret exile. "This inhuman action only shows that the Islamic Republic is even afraid of the earth Neda lies in."

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