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Neda's Mother Breaks Her Silence

A candlelight vigil in Dubai dedicated to Neda
A candlelight vigil in Dubai dedicated to Neda
The mother of Neda Agha Soltan, a young Iranian woman slain during a June 20 protest in Tehran, has broken her silence to accuse Iran's Intelligence Ministry of ordering mosques not to hold mourning ceremonies for those killed in the postelection crackdown.

Neda's mother reportedly made the comments during a July 22 meeting with families of other victims of the crackdown and women's rights activists.

The report says officials from Tehran's Behesht Zahra Cemetery showed her a letter sent out to mosques by the ministry in which it forbids them from hosting such ceremonies.

Neda's mother said people with no direct relation to Neda have faced pressure from security forces while visiting her grave.

She said the family had decided not to have public ceremonies to avoid creating problems for others.

Neda's family and relatives are due to visit her grave on July 30, which marks the 40th day since her death. Others are expected to join them in a sign of support and respect.

The video of the young lady bleeding to death after being shot in the chest was quickly posted on youtube, and she became a potent symbol of Iran's green movement and of Iranian authorities' brutal tactics to quell dissent.

-- Golnaz Esfandiari