Today, Sat. Jan. 22, was the birthday of Neda Aghasoltan, the symbol of freedom seeking struggle of Iranians. Near 2 p.m. we reached plot 257, Neda’s grave was adorned with candles, rose petals and pictures of her childhood. From the first moments when one guard was making rounds in the vicinity of plot 257, plainclothes men in cars and on motorcycles started surrounding the plot.
Neda’s mother claimed they had not allowed her to hold a 40th day memorial for her daughter so she had to commemorate her birthday instead. The previous day authorities had told Neda’s brother that holding a birthday for her was allowed as long as no slogans were chanted. Slowly the number of people attending the ceremony increased. Present were mourning mothers and their supporters and tens of individuals who had made it to the cemetery. When Neda’s mother saw the people appearing one by one, while she was crying loudly, she addressed her martyred daughter, “Neda darling, wake up and see how many guests are here for you, last year you were alone. Wake Up!” The distraught mother would sometimes sit by her daughter’s grave and stare at it remembering her daughter. It seemed like the people surrounding this mother and her daughter’s tomb were remembering Neda’s last open eyed look. The look that seemed to scream freedom!
Neda’s birthday cake was placed on her tomb with a ‘27’ on it, while her mother cried, “My darling Neda is twenty-seven, People’s Neda is 27 years old. As the crowd increased around 2:45 p.m. Two cars from security forces stood facing plot 257. The security forces stepped out with three plainclothes men—Neda’s aunt was taking pictures of the tomb when the forces spoke to Neda’s father and asked to see the pictures in Neda’s aunt’s mobile phone.
Ashkan Sohrabi’s mother called and informed that on Navab st. officers stopped cars and kept them from going to behesht Zahra cemetery. For as long as 15 minutes they had prevented Ashkan’s family from moving. Finally they managed to get to behesht Zahra from another route.
At the end of the commemoration the Mourning Mothers stood in front of Neda’s tomb and quietly sang this poem from Parvin:
You left my heart is heavy
From the night you did not return
Blissful world turned sad
From the night you failed to return
At 3:25 p.m. an unmarked white van stopped in front of plot 257 and a few plainclothes men came out as though to make the crowd disperse.
Human Rights and Democracy Activist in Iran (via @manic77)
go here for Persian text
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