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Iranians pay respects at Neda Agha-Soltan's grave

'She was with us,' says one man of the woman shot dead during protests. 'Maybe one of us would have been killed that day.' Many come to the grave, despite tight security and the glares of police.

June 26, 2009|Borzou Daragahi

TEHRAN — Security was tight around the bare grave of Neda Agha-Soltan on Thursday. Militiamen and police stood nearby, witnesses said, and it was difficult for visitors to hold a conversation within sight and hearing of the glaring officers.

But the visitors come nonetheless to pay their respects to Agha-Soltan, who was fatally shot by an unknown assailant during the protests Saturday over Iran's disputed presidential election. Her dying moments were captured in a video that made its way onto the Internet and the international airwaves.

"I read the news on the Web, and I saw the picture of the grave," said one man, hovering near the burial site. "I figured out the location of the grave and came.

"We are here for Neda and our deceased relatives too," he said. "We are here to utter our respect for them."

The man said that he too was in the street that day.

"She was with us," he said. "Maybe one of us would have been killed that day. We are here to respect her, and all the martyrs they killed in the last days."

Another man who came to pay tribute said he found it amazing that the government was fighting against ordinary people.

"Not even the politicians, or some students, but normal people in the streets," he said in disgust.

"All of us are in danger, like Neda," said a third man at the grave site.

"Now the military has taken the power and prevents us from paying our respects. It's not a big request! We want respect to Neda."

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daragahi@latimes.com

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