Washington Post – Editorial: The footage is wrenching: a young woman dying on the pavement, covered in blood. Her name was Neda Agha Soltan, and she was 26 years old.
The Washington Post
A woman's death moves Iranian protesters
THE FOOTAGE is wrenching: a young woman dying on the pavement, covered in blood. Her name was Neda Agha Soltan, and she was 26 years old. It was in the hopes of preventing the world from seeing videos like this that Iran closed access to Web sites such as Facebook and YouTube for its more than 23 million Internet users. But even its stringent censorship could not contain the painful images. After one videographer sent his footage to friends who could bypass the censors, hundreds of thousands on YouTube, Facebook and CNN witnessed Neda's death. President Obama called the video heartbreaking. It has inspired songs, poetry and the creation of Web sites such as Nedanet, where hackers offer Iranians ways to circumvent online censorship.
The traction of this video reveals the galvanizing power of an image. More than hundreds of Twitter postings, the bloody death of one young woman who loved to sing has struck a chord. In the face of massive Iranian censorship, a cellphone video less than a minute long has provided a powerful symbol for thousands of women and men risking their lives for the right to be heard.