Welcome to Nedaspeaks.org. We decided to start this site as a global online march in support of human rights in Iran, in memory of Neda Agha-Soltan’s death on the streets of Tehran.
Neda was a young woman living in Iran—a student, who was shot in the street by government militia in the early evening hours of June 20th, 2009, for participating in peaceful protests against the disputed June 12th election of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Her death was captured on video, uploaded to YouTube and within hours seen by millions around the world. She quickly became a symbol for the resistance and for the brutality of unchecked tyranny. People in Iran yell “I am Neda” into the street after lights out as a sign of defiance since the government has made it illegal to mourn for her.
We want you to join us in support of this fundamental stand for human rights by uploading a photo of yourself holding a sign that says “I am Neda.” Feel free to be as creative as you want in displaying those words. Our site is in English, but you should also feel free to make this statement in any language.
Just click UPLOAD (on the home page), and follow the simple instructions.
Once we’ve approved your photo, we’ll add it to our growing gallery here on the website. Our hope is that we can send a strong message to Iran’s government (and the rest of the world) that its human rights abuses are not going unnoticed.
As a band, we also wrote a song called “Neda” and made a video. You can view it HERE, or in our WATCH section.
You can download the song HERE via iTunes. If you’re in the UK, you can download it HERE. All proceeds go to Amnesty International’s work on human rights around the world.
From Elise Auerbach, Amnesty International Country Specialist for Iran:
In recent years, a large number of writers, journalists, labor activists, web loggers, women’s rights advocates and human rights defenders have been subjected to human rights violations by the government of Iran for exercising their right to freedom of expression. These severe violations include arrest, incommunicado detention, torture, unfair trials, imprisonment (sometimes for very long periods of time) and inhumane judicial punishments such as flogging. The Iranian penal code uses vaguely worded laws related to “crimes against the security of the state,” and “insulting” or “defaming” the leadership of Iran to facilitate the violation of the rights of individuals to peacefully express their opinions.
Trials of individuals accused of security-related crimes are held in Revolutionary Courts, which Amnesty International has consistently condemned for their failure to adhere to international standards for fair trials. For the past several years Iran has executed more people than any other country in the world other than China. In 2009, at least 388 people were executed, many for politically related crimes, and many after having been sentenced in unfair trials. The number of executions in Iran has greatly increased since President Ahmadinejad took office in 2005. Iran is also one of the handfuls of countries that continues to execute juvenile offenders. Amnesty International is concerned that the Iranian authorities are using executions and threats of executions to frighten people and dissuade them from exercising their rights to freedom of assembly and expression.
After Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was declared the winner in the 12 June 2009 presidential elections in Iran, there were widespread protests against the contested election results. The Iranian authorities responded with violence and repression. Dozens of people were reportedly killed and many more injured in violent assaults by Basij paramilitary and riot police. Many thousands of people have been arrested while hundreds remain in detention. There have been persistent reports of torture and sexual abuse of those in custody. Over 100 people have been convicted of offenses related to allegedly fomenting the post-election unrest, many after perfunctory show trials in Revolutionary Courts; at least sixteen of those were sentenced to death.
Some of the cases that Amnesty International has been working on include:
Mansour Ossanlu, the head of the union of workers of the Tehran and Suburbs Bus Company who is serving a five-year sentence for his peaceful labor activism–he is suffering from serious health problems for which he is not receiving proper medical care.
Emaddedin Baghi, a prominent journalist and human rights activist who was prevented from traveling to Geneva last year to accept the prestigious Martin Ennals award for human rights defenders and who was arrested in late December and is being held without charge.
Ronak Safarzadeh, an Iranian Kurdish graphic artist and women’s rights activist, who is serving a prison sentence of six years and seven months for her alleged ties to a banned Kurdish organization; seven leaders of the Baha’i community who have been in detention more than two years and who are currently on trial on charges that could carry the death penalty.
Hengameh Shahidi, a journalist, women’s rights activist, and adviser to opposition presidential candidate Mehdi Karroubi, who is serving a six-year prison sentence for “gathering and colluding with intent to harm state security” and “propaganda against the system.”
Amnesty International has been urging the Iranian government to carry out independent investigations into the allegations of torture in detention after last year’s election protests, as well as into the dozens of killings that took place, including that of Neda Agha-Soltan. Amnesty International has urged the Iranian government to allow the U.N. Special Rapporteur on Extra-judicial, Summary and Arbitrary Executions to have access to the country to conduct his investigations.
For detailed information on human rights in Iran, visit these websites:
Amnesty International USA
International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran
Iran Human Rights Documentation Center
Human Rights Watch: Iran
Iran Human Rights
Only Democracy for Iran
United for Iran
ARTICLES ABOUT NEDA:
The New York Times – In a Death Seen Around the World, a Symbol of Iranian Protests
- June 22, 2009
The Times – Iranian student protester Neda Soltan is Times Person of the Year
- December 26, 2009
Los Angeles Times – Family, friends mourn ‘Neda,’ Iranian woman who died on video
- June 23, 2009
Telegraph.co.uk – Iran bans prayers for ‘Angel of Freedom’ Neda Agha Soltan
- June 22, 2009
The Guardian/Observer – Neda Soltan’s boyfriend Caspian Makan interview
- November 15, 2009
The Guardian/Observer – Film about Iranian protest victim Neda Agha-Soltan beats regime’s censors
- June 4, 2010
The Guardian/Observer – How I secretly filmed the For Neda documentary
- June 4, 2010
More about Neda from the Guardian
The Huffington Post – Iran Condemns Oxford for Honoring Neda Agha-Soltan, Slain Protester
- November 11, 2009
The Times – Grave of Neda Soltan desecrated by supporters of Iranian regime
- November 16, 2009
The Times – Neda Soltan’s grave defaced as Iran issues new internet restrictions
- January 8, 2010
Mail Online – YouTube martyr Neda Soltan’s grave is shot at ‘by Iranian Government supporters’
- January 8, 2010
Time – Who was Neda Agha-Soltan?
The New York Times – A Young Woman’s Fate Resonates
Only Democracy For Iran – Video: The Story of Martyr Ramin Ramezani
The Guardian – Iran arrests top film-maker Jafar Panahi for supporting Green movement
- March 2, 2010
The Guardian – Jafar Panahi freed from jail in Iran
- May 25, 2010
Digital Journal – Opinion: The Nightmare Story of Jafar Panahi
- April 30, 2010
The New York Times – Iranian Filmmaker Speaks Out on Prisoners
- March 9, 2010
Time – Iran Protests: Twitter, the Medium of the Movement
- June 17, 2009