Friday, August 29, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Who killed Neda?

Iran has been mounting a bizarre campaign of agitprop, trying to cast the blame for death of the 26-year-old student, Neda Agha-Sultan, on a foreign hand.

Who killed Neda?

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  Iran has been mounting a bizarre campaign of agitprop, trying to cast the blame for death of the 26-year-old student, Neda Agha-Sultan, on a foreign hand.

   Horrific scenes Neda's death, filmed by a cell-phone camera, have spread round the world by YouTube, and she has become the icon of Iranians' struggle for justice.  Fearful of her power in death, Iranian officials and state-run media have accused: a banned (cultish) opposition group of exiles, known as the MEK, a BBC correspondent who was deported (I kid you not), and, of course, the CIA, for her killing. The latest regime version, put out today, is that one of the opposition demonstrators shot her down.

   The fact that the regime keeps putting out different stories shows how nervous it is about her legacy. Iranian officials have forbidden her family to hold a memorial service, and there are reports they have kicked her family out of its apartment.

    But now, an Iranian doctor, who rushed to her side and can be seen in the film clip trying to put pressure on the wound, has spoken out about what apparently happened. He lives in England, to which he returned this week, and recognizes that making this information public will probably mean he can't go home again.

     He told the BBC that bystanders pulled a baseej militiaman off a motorbike after he apparently pulled the trigger, and took his identity card, but let him flee. According to the doctor, the basiji admitted he shot her. So someone out there knows the name  of Neda's probable killer, but undoubtedly would fear to make it public. You can read the full story at: 

http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/2/hi/middle_east/8119713.stm

    Meantime, the Iranian government will probably finger some poor soul and force him to confess he did the heinous deed as an agent of the West. But this time no one except the most hardened ideologue will believe the conspiracy theories.

Trudy Rubin Inquirer Opinion Columnist
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About this blog

Trudy Rubin’s Worldview column runs on Thursdays and Sundays. In 2009-2011 she has made four lengthy trips to Afghanistan and Pakistan. Over the past seven years, she visited Iraq eleven times, and also wrote from Iran, Israel, the West Bank, Gaza, Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, Turkey, China, and South Korea.

She is the author of Willful Blindness: the Bush Administration and Iraq, a book of her columns from 2002-2004. In 2001 she was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in commentary and in 2008 she was awarded the Edward Weintal prize for international reporting. In 2010 she won the Arthur Ross award for international commentary from the Academy of American Diplomacy.

Reach Trudy at trubin@phillynews.com.

Trudy Rubin Inquirer Opinion Columnist
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