Iranian protestor killed by Iranian militia is Times Person of the Year

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Tehran, Dec. 26 (ANI): Neda Soltan, a student protester, who was shot dead by Iranian militia while demonstrating against the rigged presidential elections, has been chosen as the Times Person of the Year.

Soltan, 26, ignored the pleas of her family, as she went with her music teacher to join a huge opposition demonstration in Tehran.

"Even if a bullet goes through my heart it's not important. What we're fighting for is more important. When it comes to taking our stolen rights back we should not hesitate. Everyone is responsible. Each person leaves a footprint in this world," she told Caspian Makan, her fianci.

Hours after leaving home, as she and other demonstrators chanted: Death to the dictator", she was indeed shot.

Arash Hejazi, a doctor standing near by, remembers her looking down in surprise as blood gushed from her chest. She collapsed. More blood spewed from her mouth. As she lay dying on the pavement, her life ebbing out of her, "I felt she was trying to ask a question. Why?"

A 40-second video clip of Soltan's final moments flashed around the world. Her name was invoked by Barack Obama, Gordon Brown and other world leaders. Outside Iranian embassies huge crowds of protesters staged candlelit vigils, held up her picture, or wore T-shirts proclaiming, "NEDA - Nothing Except Democracy Acceptable".

It was not hard to see why Ms Soltan so quickly became the face of the opposition. She was young and pretty, innocent, brave and modern. She wore make-up beneath her mandatory headscarf, jeans and trainers beneath her long, black coat, and liked to travel.

She transcended the narrow confines of religion, nationality and ideology. She evoked almost universal empathy. (ANI)

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