I mentioned in my last post that the young woman (Neda) whose death was captured on film this weekend, had a fiance and that he was interviewed by BBC Persia. A reader of the Huffington Post has now translated this interview:
Kasamin Makan, Neda Agha-Setan's fiancee, was interviewed by BBC Persia, noting that Neda would have turned 27 this year. "Neda's goal was not Mousavi or Ahmadinejad, it was her country and was important for her to fight for this goal. She had said many times that if she had lost her life or been shot in the heart, which indeed what happened, it was important for her to continue in this path," he said.
Considering her young age she has taught a lesson to us all.
About the day of the incident, Mr. Makan said: "When the clashes were occurring, Neda was far away from the demonstrations, she was in one of the side alleys near Amir Abad. Thirsty and tired or being cooped up for about an hour in the car in heavy traffic with her music instructor, she finally gets out of the car and, based on the pictures sent in by the people, armed forces in civilian clothes and the Basiji targeted and shot her in the heart."
"It was over in a matter of minutes, the Shariati Hospital was nearby, the people around her tried to bring her to the emergency room by car, but before that could even happen she died in her instructor's arms."
Mr. Makan added: "We got her body back finally yesterday with some diffculties. Of course, her body was not at the Tehran Coroner but at a one outside of Tehran. The medical examiners
wanted parts of her body, including a portion of her femoral bone but the chief medical examiner would not say why and no explanations were ever given."
"Finally the family consented just so they could get her body back as soon as possible, since just this issue could have resulted in delaying the reception of the body. We buried the body in a small area in the Zahra Cemetery in the late afternoon of 31 Khordad. Also, they had brought in other people who had been killed in the protests so it seemed that the whole event was scheduled to be such."
About payment for releasing the remains, Mr. Makan had this to say: "No specific amount has been paid at this time, although hospitals, clinics, surgeons and medical examiners have been ordered by the Iranian security services, based on various orders, not to list 'bullet wound' as the cause of death on the death certificate in order to prevent the families from filing international complaints in the future. I haven't seen the release notice of Neda's remains yet, but I will obtain it from her father in the coming days."
Mr. Makan regarding government ban of memorial service for Neda Agha Setan said: "We were going to hold her memorial Monday 1st of Tir at 2:30 PM at a mosque at Sharyati street north of Seyed Khandan. But Basijis and mosque officials refused our request for her memorial service so to avoid further public confrontation and instability. They knew that Neda was an died innocently, and people in Iran and the international community are informed of that fact. So they decided to avoid a situation where a mass rally would take place. In any way, we do not have permission for a memorial service for now."
However, many eye witnesses told BBC Persia that a large gathering took place with the intention of performing a memorial service at Al Reza Mosque at Nilofar square in Tehran. But the security forces intervened by throwing people out of the mosque and intervening with the service.
Mr. Makan also commented on fake pictures of videos claiming to be Neda at various sites:"I was looking at some sites including 'iReport'. There was a picture of a young woman with green signs from previous calm demonstrations and had claimed it was Neda before being shot. These pictures have no relation to the event. It seems that Mr. Mousavi's supporters are trying to portray Neda as one of his supporters. This is not so. Neda was incredibly close to me and she was never supportive of either two groups. Neda wanted freedom and freedom for all."
BBC Farsi tried to contact Neda Agha-Sultan's other family members but was told by a close relative of hers that, for reasons of their own, the Agha Sultan family could grant an interview.
Demonstrators were scheduled to hold a rally today to mourn Neda and all the dead from these protests, but Iran's Security forces and the Basij broke up gatherings. Here are a couple of videos that are apparently from today:
Check out the front page of Iran's Kayhan Times. The translation is "$400 Million CIA Budget For Creating Riots After The Election." Obama continues to have a tough line to walk in dealing with this situation.
Iran's state media is reporting that Iran is going to release a "box by box" vote count:
Amid claims of a 'rigged-election' by certain defeated Iranian presidential candidates, a top election official says the box-by-box details of the vote will be released.
"During previous elections in the Islamic Republic, statistics concerning individual ballot boxes were considered confidential information … this kind of information was only available to certain officials," deputy head of the Interior Ministry's election headquarters Ali-Asghar Sharifi-Rad said Sunday.
According to Sharifi-Rad, the Ministry had, however, decided to publish the results "box by box," to resolve ambiguities about the disputed election in which incumbent President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad won a landslide victory, ILNA reported.
UK's Chatham House has released a study that examines the irregularities in the Iran vote and Juan Cole examines it and comes to this conclusion:
The numbers do not add up. You can't have more voters than there are people. You can't have a complete liberal and pragmatic-conservative swing behind hard liners who make their lives miserable.
The election was stolen. It is there in black and white. Those of us who know Iran, could see it plain as the nose on our faces, even if we could not quantify our reasons as elegantly as Chatham House.