Iran demands Soltan’s family remove mourning banners

The family of Neda Soltan has been ordered by the authorities in Tehran to remove mourning banners in an effort to prevent the slain teenager from becoming a national martyr.
Soltan was killed while protesting and a video of her apparent murder was uploaded to the Internet.After her death, Soltan’s family placed banners outside their home in Tehran.

Now, the government has asked the family to remove the banner and they’ve also forbidden them from holding a memorial in a mosque, according to Raw Story.

It appears the government is trying to prevent the nation from making Soltan a symbol of the protests in Tehran after a bullet to her heart ended her short life. Neda was with her father when she was shot en route to a demonstration.

New reports say the slain woman was 26. For those in Iran’s government, the woman’s death has become a struggle and local media have not reported it.

While authorities have been able to force the family to hide evidence of the woman’s death, posters bearing Soltan’s face are appearing everywhere in Tehran.

The Times Online quotes Soltan’s friendHamid Panahi:

“We were stuck in traffic and we got out and stood to watch and, without her throwing a rock or anything, they shot her,” he said. “It was just one bullet.”

Panahi said that Soltan’s last words were, “I’m burning! I’m burning!”

Soltanwas planning a career in tourism after obtaining a degree in Islamic philosophy from Azad University in Tehran.

She was laid to rest on Sunday at Behesht Zahra cemetery. The ceremony was quiet after orders were laid out for the family not to sing her praises loudly or to mourn her loss.

The LA Times also quoted Panahi as saying he taught Soltan about music. He said that she was a brave woman passionate about life. She was willing to take a risk for her beliefs, knowing that going to the protest could end her life.

“She couldn’t stand the injustice of it all,” Panahi said. “All she wanted was the proper vote of the people to be counted. “For pursuing her goals, she didn’t use rocks or clubs,” he said. “She wanted to show with her presence that ‘I’m here. I also voted. And my vote wasn’t counted.’ It was a very peaceful act of protest, without any violence.”

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