For Neda (2010) Script

Narrator: EVERY CONFLICT OF THE LAST 70 YEARS HAS ITS OWN DEFINING IMAGE--

VIETNAM...

CHINA...

IRAQ...

( gunshot ) ...AND NOW IRAN.

( people shouting in Farsi ) Narrator: JUNE 20th, 2009, A YOUNG IRANIAN WOMAN IS SHOT IN THE HEART BY A SNIPER.

A WOMAN. THIS MARTYRED WOMAN SUDDENLY BECAME THE SYMBOL OF EVERYBODY ELSE THAT WAS MARTYRED BY THE ISLAMIC REPUBLIC.

( people shouting )

THE VOICE WHICH YOU ARE HEARING THAT'S CALLING HER-- "NEDA, PLEASE! NEDA, PLEASE!"

--IS LIKE "NO, STAY WITH US!

DON'T GO!" THIS IS JUST SO SHOCKING.

( screaming )

SHE STARTED LOOKING-- LOOKING TO THE CAMERA, LOOKING TO US.

"LOOK. I'M-- I'M DYING.

LOOK. I'M DYING. I WAS KILLED."

AND SHE DIED WITH OPEN EYES. THIS WAS AMAZING.

Arash Hejazi: I WAS THERE. I SAW THAT INNOCENT GIRL DYING JUST IN FRONT OF MY EYES.

AND I KNOW THAT IRAN WILL NEVER BE THE SAME AFTER NEDA'S DEATH AND AFTER THAT VIDEO.

AND PEOPLE OF THE WORLD WILL NEVER LOOK AT IRAN THE SAME WAY THEY LOOKED AT IT BEFORE NEDA'S DEATH.

Narrator: WITHIN HOURS OF HER DEATH, NEDA'S DYING MOMENTS, CAPTURED ON CELL PHONES, WERE APPEARING ON COMPUTER SCREENS ACROSS THE WORLD.

Jared Cohen: THE NEDA VIDEO WAS, IN MY OPINION, WAS THE WORLD'S MOST SUCCESSFUL VIRAL VIDEO.

SOMEBODY WHO CAPTURED THIS VIDEO ON THEIR CELL PHONE WAS ABLE TO GET THAT VIDEO IN THE HANDS OF PRESIDENTS, PRIME MINISTERS, KINGS AND INFLUENTIAL LEADERS ALL AROUND THE WORLD IN MATTER OF MOMENTS.

HAVE YOU SEEN THIS VIDEO?

Barack Obama: I HAVE. WHAT IS YOUR REACTION?

IT'S HEARTBREAKING, AND I THINK THAT ANYBODY WHO SEES IT KNOWS THAT THERE'S SOMETHING FUNDAMENTALLY UNJUST ABOUT THAT.

Narrator: NEDA'S DEATH FOCUSED WORLD ATTENTION ON MASS PROTESTS AGAINST EVERY ELECTION IN IRAN.

AS MILLIONS OF IRANIAN PROTESTERS WITH THEIR DISTINCTIVE GREEN WRISTBANDS MARCHED THROUGH THE CAPITAL, TEHRAN, OTHERS WERE SOON MARCHING WITH THEM IN OVER 100 CITIES ACROSS THE WORLD.

NEDA'S BLOOD-SPATTERED FACE APPEARED ON T-SHIRTS AND PLACARDS.

PEOPLE EVERYWHERE WERE MOVED TO HONOR HER.

IN PARIS, THE CELEBRATED PHOTOGRAPHER REZA DEGHATI TURNED OVER HIS ENTIRE STAFF AND STUDIO TO THE TASK OF CREATING NEDA MASKS, WHICH WERE SENT TO CAPITAL CITIES ACROSS THE WORLD AND WORN BY PROTESTERS RALLYING TO THE CRY

"WE ARE NEDA."

( crowd shouts ) ( man speaking over P.A. )

Narrator: THE PERSIAN NAME NEDA MEANS "VOICE."

NEDA AGHA SOLTAN HAD INDEED BECOME THE VOICE AND THE SPIRIT OF AN IRANIAN REVOLUTION. ( people shouting )

Narrator: PEOPLE EVERYWHERE SAT UP AND WATCHED AS MOMENTS OF EXTRAORDINARY COURAGE IN THE FACE OF BRUTALITY WERE DISTRIBUTED TO THE WORLD VIA THE NET.

( shouting continues )

BUT HOW MUCH IS KNOWN ABOUT THIS YOUNG WOMAN WHO'S BECOME SUCH A POWERFUL SYMBOL TO MILLIONS?

WHO WAS SHE?

WHAT DID SHE STAND FOR?

WHY DID SHE DIE?

HER FAMILY STILL LIVES IN IRAN.

AND THOUGH HER MOTHER HAS POSTED PICTURES OF NEDA AND ANSWERED WRITTEN QUESTIONS ON THE NET, NO ONE HAS BEEN ABLE TO HEAR NEDA'S STORY FIRSTHAND.

WAS THERE SOME WAY OF MAKING DIRECT CONTACT WITH THIS FAMILY?

ALL FOREIGN MEDIA ARE BANNED FROM IRAN AND THOSE WHO TRY TO ENTER SECRETLY PUT THEMSELVES AND EVERYONE THEY MEET AT RISK.

WOULD ANY IRANIAN JOURNALIST BE PREPARED TO APPROACH THIS FAMILY?

EVERY RESPONSE WAS NEGATIVE.

( narrator speaking )

( shouting ) Narrator: AND THEY WERE RIGHT TO BE AFRAID.

IN THE WEEKS AND MONTHS FOLLOWING NEDA'S DEATH, IRAN'S CITIZEN JOURNALISTS WERE POSTING SHOCKING PROOF OF STATE VIOLENCE AND ARBITRARY ARRESTS ON THE WEB.

( shouting, screaming )


Narrator: WHO WOULD RUN THE RISK OF PROVOKING A REGIME CAPABLE OF THIS KIND OF VIOLENCE?

AFTER A LONG SEARCH, A STRONG CANDIDATE EMERGED:

SAEED KAMALI DEHGHAN, 24 YEARS OLD AND A MAN WITH A REPUTATION FOR COURAGE.

HE ACCEPTED THE CHALLENGE.

SAEED HAD BEEN IN IRAN DURING THE PROTESTS REPORTING FOR THE LONDON "GUARDIAN" AND C.N.N.

HE WAS ALSO THE FIRST PERSON TO DISCOVER NEDA'S FAMILY NAME AND THE APARTMENT WHERE SHE LIVED WITH HER PARENTS AND A YOUNGER BROTHER.

SAEED HAD NO FILMMAKING EXPERIENCE, BUT WAS GIVEN A CRASH COURSE IN THE BASICS AND A CAMERA THAT LOOKED SUFFICIENTLY AMATEUR TO GET THROUGH CUSTOMS AND SECURITY IN IRAN.

ON NOVEMBER 17th, SAEED LEFT FOR TEHRAN VIA PARIS AND DUBAI, ARMED ONLY WITH A LIST OF QUESTIONS FOR NEDA'S FAMILY.

EARLY ON THE MORNING OF NOVEMBER 20th, HE EMAILED BACK WITH THE NEWS THAT HE'D GOTTEN SAFELY THROUGH CUSTOMS AND SECURITY AND WAS NOW READY TO BEGIN HIS ASSIGNMENT IN TEHRAN.

( Dehghan speaking Farsi ) Dehghan via translator: I WAS COMPLETELY ALONE, FACING THE GREATEST CHALLENGE OF MY LIFE.

FIRST I CONTACTED NEDA'S BROTHER.

FOUR DAYS LATER, I GOT A MESSAGE THAT THE FAMILY HAD AGREED TO MEET ME.

I REMEMBER THAT FIRST NIGHT.

I WAS VERY NERVOUS.

MY STOMACH WAS CHURNING.

AS I RANG THE BELL, I WAS SURE THAT SOMEONE FROM THE INTELLIGENCE SERVICE WOULD APPEAR AT ANY MOMENT.

I WAS WALKING INTO THE HOME OF THE GIRL WHO HAD BECOME THE SYMBOL OF FREEDOM FOR OUR NATION.

I WAS CARRYING FLOWERS AND AS I WENT IN, I SAW NEDA'S PHOTO ON THE WALL.

I WAS SO TENSE THAT I BURST INTO TEARS AND THE FAMILY HAD TO CALM MEDOWN.

Narrator: AFTER A SECOND MEETING, THE MESSAGE CAME THROUGH THAT NEDA'S FAMILY HAD AGREED TO BE FILMED.

SAEED WAS GOING IN THE FOLLOWING NIGHT WITH HIS CAMERA, AND HE SENT A LIST OF PEOPLE TO CONTACT IF THERE WAS NO NEWS OF HIM AFTER THREE DAYS.

Dehghan via translator: "MY GOD," I THOUGHT.

"I'M ACTUALLY FILMING IN NEDA'S HOME."

WHEN I WENT INTO HER BEDROOM, I THOUGHT, "NEDA USED TO WALK IN HERE EVERY DAY.

THIS IS WHERE SHE SLEPT."

SHE WAS NO LONGER A STRANGER.

( speaking Farsi ) Dehghan: NEDA'S MOTHER WAS IMMEDIATELY WARM TOWARDS ME.

AT FIRST I ADDRESSED HER AS MRS. ROSTAMI, BUT IN NO TIME I WAS CALLING HER MOTHER.

( speaking Farsi )

( via translator ) I WAS ALONE IN BRINGING UP MY CHILD.

MY HUSBAND MOSTLY WORKED AWAY FROM HOME.

Dehghan: WE TALKED FOR HOURS ABOUT NEDA.

ACCORDING TO HER MOTHER, NEDA WAS A REBEL ALMOST FROM THE MOMENT SHE WAS BORN.

FROM THE AGE OF THREE, SHE NEVER ACCEPTED CONTROL.

SHE FOUGHT WITH THE SCHOOL AUTHORITIES NOT TO WEAR A CHADOR AND SHE WON THAT BATTLE.

IN THOSE DAYS, ALL HIGH-SCHOOL GIRLS WHERE WE WERE HAD TO WEAR THE CHADOR, BUT SHE REBELLED AGAINST THIS. SHE REFUSED.

NEDA WAS THE FIRST GIRL IN HER SCHOOL NOT TO WEAR A CHADOR.

NEDA WAS ALWAYS VERY FRANK WITH EVERYONE.

SHE NEVER SAID ANYTHING BEHIND YOUR BACK.

SHE ALWAYS USED TO SAY, "WHY DON'T YOU TELL PEOPLE WHAT YOU REALLYTHINK?"

( Dehghan speaking Farsi )

ON THE SECOND NIGHT, NEDA'S ELDER SISTER HODA DROVE US TO HER OWN APARTMENT AND SHE CONFIRMED EVERYTHING HER MOTHER HAD SAID ABOUT NEDA.

( speaking Farsi )

( via translator ) SHE WAS REALLY VERY VERY BRAVE.

AND BECAUSE SHE WASN'T AFRAID OF EVERYTHING, SHE DIDN'T HAVE TO LIE.

( speaks Farsi )

Dehghan: NO OPPORTUNITY WAS LOST TO SHARE PHOTOGRAPHS, STORIES, MEMORIES.

I COULD ALMOST FEEL THE RELIEF TO HAVE THIS OPPORTUNITY TO TELL THE WORLD WHO NEDA REALLY WAS AND TO BE AS STRONG AND OPTIMISTIC AS SHE WAS EVEN IN THEIR GRIEF.

DID NEDA HAVE YOUR SMILE?

( speaking Farsi )

SHE WAS ALWAYS SMILING.

YOU WOULD HAVE TO SEARCH FOR A MOMENT WHEN SHE DIDN'T WANT TO SMILE.

SHE'S SMILING IN ALMOST ALL THE PHOTOGRAPHS.

SHE WAS ALWAYS SMILING.

Dehghan: THIS FAMILY WAS HOLDING TIGHTLY TO NEDA'S MEMORY.

( sniffles, crying )

THIS IS THE LAST LITTLE DRESS SHE BOUGHT.

SHE NEVER HAD A CHANCE TO WEAR IT.

Dehghan: NEDA'S YOUNGER BROTHER MOHAMMED WAS THE CLOSEST TO NEDA. AS A SIGN OF MOURNING, HE HAS NEITHER CUT HIS HAIR NOR SHAVED SINCE NEDA DIED.

( speaking Farsi )

( via translator ) SHE USED TO SAY THAT WOMEN IN THIS COUNTRY CANNOT LIVE LIKE HUMAN BEINGS.

SHE USED TO SAY, "AS A WOMAN, I CAN'T EVEN GO OUTSIDE WITHOUT BEING COVERED UP."

( speaks Farsi )

Dehghan: NEDA'S FATHER ALI WORKS FOR A TRANSPORT COMPANY AND IS OFTEN AWAY FROM HOME, BUT HE UNDERSTOOD NEDA VERY WELL.

( speaking Farsi )

( via translator ) SHE WAS A FEARLESS CHILD.

THERE WAS NO FEAR IN HER BODY.

I LOVED HER AND RESPECTED HER SO MUCH FOR THIS COURAGE.

Narrator: NEDA-- OUTSPOKEN, BRAVE, CLASHING WITH AUTHORITY ALMOST FROM THE START.

A FREE SPIRIT CONFINED BY A REGIME THAT DOES NOT VALUE THESE QUALITIES IN A WOMAN.

AFTER THE REVOLUTION, THE FIRST TARGETS, THE FIRST VICTIMS OF THE REVOLUTION WERE WOMEN.

THE FIRST PROGRESSIVE LAW THEY REPEALED WAS THE FAMILY PROTECTION LAW, WHICH PROTECTED WOMEN AT WORK AND AT HOME.

AND THE FIRST TARGETS AGAIN WERE WOMEN'S CLOTHING, THE VEIL.

AND SOME OF THE MOST REACTIONARY LAWS--

LIKE CHANGING THE AGE OF MARRIAGE FROM 18 TO NINE, DEPRIVING WOMEN OF THEIR CIVIL AND JUDICIAL RIGHTS--

AND EVERY SINGLE REACTIONARY LAW, THE WORSTKIND PERTAINS TO WOMEN.

Narrator: A WOMAN RISKS ARREST IF SEEN IN PUBLIC IN THE COMPANY OF ANY MALE OTHER THAN A CLOSE RELATIVE.

BY LAW, HER ARMS, LEGS AND HER HAIR MUST BE COVERED WHENEVER MEN ARE PRESENT, EVEN ON THE BEACH.

( kids shout )

Narrator: IN THE MAJOR CITIES, WOMEN PUSH THE BOUNDARIES AS FAR AS THEY DARE, SOMETIMES SPORTING COLORFUL HEADSCARVES AND EVEN EXPOSING THEIR HAIR, BUT THEY RISK ARREST AT ANY TIME BY THE POLICE OR THE NOTORIOUS BASIJ MILITIA, MEN AND WOMEN CHARGED WITH MAINTAINING PUBLIC ORDER AND DECENCY. ( whistle tweets )

I WAS 15, 16, WALKING IN THE STREETS OF TEHRAN AND ALL OF A SUDDEN A BASIJ CAR STOPPED.

SIX OF THEM GOT OUT OF THE CAR WITH THEIR AK-47s AND SURROUNDED ME--

THEY WOULDN'T LOOK AT ME--

AND SAID, "SISTER, YOUR CHEST IS SHOWING."

MAYBE A QUARTER SIZE OF MY CHEST WAS SHOWING.

I HAD WORN MY HIJAB AND TIED IT IN THE BACK.

AND THEY WERE WANTING TO TAKE ME WITH THEM.

I STARTED TO SCREAM, "HOW DARE YOU LOOK AT ME FROM ACROSS THE STREET AND ARE LOOKING AT MY CHEST.

YOU'RE NO MEHRAM. I WON'T LET YOU ARREST ME.

YOU HAVE TO BRING SOMEBODY ELSE TO ARREST ME."

AND THEY THOUGHT, "OKAY, SHE'S CRAZY.

WE'D BETTER LEAVE THIS ONE ALONE."

BUT YES, IT'S HUMILIATING. HUMILIATING.

Narrator: IN MANY PARTS OF THE COUNTRY, ALL-ENVELOPING BLACK IS THE NORM.

Roya Boroumand: AS A WOMAN, YOU HAVE TO DISAPPEAR IN THE PUBLIC EYE. YOU CANNOT BE.

AND SO THE MORE YOU ATTRACT ATTENTION TO YOURSELF, THE MORE YOU ARE TARGETED BECAUSE YOU ARE SUPPOSED NOT TO BE.

YOU ARE SUPPOSED TO BE INVISIBLE.

WHAT IS UNBEARABLE AND IGNOMINIOUS IS THE POWER THAT A REGIME CLAIMS TO CONTROL YOUR BODY, AND THIS IS A DIRECT ATTACK TO YOUR FREEDOM AND DIGNITY.

AND I THINK THAT IS WHAT MAKES THE WHOLE ISSUE OF A DRESS CODE UNBEARABLE.

NEDA HATED THIS HEAD COVER.

SHE WAS TORMENTED THAT SHE COULD NOT SWIM IN THE SEA AND BE HERSELF IN THE STREET.

SHE REALLY SUFFERED BECAUSE OF THAT FORCED HIJAB.

Narrator: THE LAW RESTRICTS WOMEN'S FREEDOM IN MANY OTHER WAYS.

SHE MAY NOT MARRY WITHOUT THE CONSENT OF HER FATHER OR PATERNAL GRANDFATHER.

( woman speaking Farsi ) Narrator: DIVORCE IS THE EXCLUSIVE RIGHT OF THE HUSBAND, WHO AUTOMATICALLY TAKES POSSESSION OF THE CHILDREN AT THE AGE OF SEVEN OR EVEN EARLIER IF THE WOMAN MARRIES AGAIN.

( speaking Farsi )

( speaking Farsi )

Narrator: MOST SERIOUS OF ALL, THE VALUE OF A WOMAN'S LIFE, HALF THAT OF A MAN'S.

IN COURT, THE WEIGHT OF A WOMAN'S TESTIMONY HALF THAT OF A MAN'S--

PARTICULARLY UNJUST IN CASES OF VIOLENT ASSAULT OR RAPE.

IF THE MAN SAYS, "NO, I DID NOT ASSAULT THE WOMAN."

THE WOMAN SAYS, "YES, YOU DID,"

SHE HAS NO CHANCE OF OBTAINING A CONVICTION AGAINST THE MAN.

EVEN WORSE, THE WOMAN WOULD SUBSEQUENTLY BE INDICTED FOR BRINGING FALSE TESTIMONY.

Narrator: IRAN HAS THE HIGHEST RATE OF EXECUTION OF ANY COUNTRY IN THE WORLD AS A PROPORTION OF THE POPULATION.

APART FROM MURDER, THE DEATH PENALTY HAS BEEN IMPOSED FOR ADULTERY, POSSESSION OF DRUGS, HOMOSEXUAL ACTS AND EVEN NON-VIOLENT PROTEST.

( people speaking Farsi )

Narrator: THE AGE OF CRIMINAL RESPONSIBILITY FOR A GIRL IS EIGHT, FOR A BOY, 14.

IF AN EIGHT-YEAR-OLD GIRL COMMITS A CAPITAL OFFENSE, SHE MIGHT REMAIN IN JAIL AWAITING EXECUTION ON HER 18th BIRTHDAY.

FOR CERTAIN CRIMES, THE DEATH PENALTY IS NOT ADMINISTERED BY HANGING BUT BY STONING.

AND STONING HAPPENS IN A WAY THAT YOU ARE BEING BURIED IN SAND OR IN THE GROUND UP TO YOUR WAIST.

AND THE RULE IS IF YOU MANAGE TO GET OUT WHILE PEOPLE ARE THROWING STONES AT YOU, YOU ARE FREE. YOU CAN LEAVE. THAT'S THE RULE FOR A MAN.

HOWEVER, WOMAN ARE NOT BEING BURIED UP TO THEIR WAIST BUT UP TO THEIR BREAST WITH THEIR ARMS ALSO BEING BURIED.

( laughing )

Narrator: SUCH A CONTRAST BETWEEN THE WARMTH AND NORMALITY OF THIS FAMILY AND THAT OTHER IRAN OUTSIDE THEIR DOORS.

AND SUCH COURAGE, KNOWING WHAT THIS REGIME IS CAPABLE OF.

YET THEY FEEL SAFER BY SPEAKING OUT.

THE FACT IS THAT NEDA'S FAMILY NOW BELONG TO THE WHOLE NATION, SO THERE ARE-- PEOPLE FEEL RESPONSIBLE TOWARDS THEM.

ANYTHING THAT HAPPENS TO THEM WILL JUST INCITE A NEW RAGE, AND I'M SURE THAT THE GOVERNMENT DOESN'T WANT THAT.

SO SOMEHOW, YES, THEY ARE PROTECTED BY THE LOVE OF THE PEOPLE OF IRAN TOWARDS NEDA.

Narrator: THE FAMILY HELD NOTHING BACK.

NEDA'S POEMS AND HER PRIVATE DIARIES.

DAY AFTER DAY, "MEET MEET MEET" AMIR, THE MAN SHE HAD LOVED SINCE SHE WAS A TEENAGER AND MARRIED IN 2004 WHEN SHE WAS 21.

THEY WERE TOGETHER FOR THREE AND A HALF YEARS AND THEN THEY DIVORCED.

HER HUSBAND'S FAMILY WAS FROM THE NORTH.

NEDA WAS FROM TEHRAN.

THEY WERE TWO OPPOSITE CULTURES.

SHE TRIED HARD TO SAVE THE MARRIAGE.

IT WASN'T A BITTER DIVORCE.

SOMEHOW SHE NEVER STOPPED LOVING AMIR.

SHE ALWAYS SAID THAT THE WAY SHE LOVED WAS NOT THE WAY THAT SHE WAS LOVED.

SHE HAD HIGH EXPECTATIONS WHEN IT CAME TO AFFECTIONS AND EMOTIONS.

THAT IS WHY NOBODY COULD SATISFY HER EMOTIONAL NEEDS.

AMIR--

EVEN I COULDN'T LOVE HER THE WAY SHE EXPECTED US TO.

Narrator: NEDA'S BOOKS, INCLUDING BANNED BOOKS, WERE PROUDLY DISPLAYED, AMONG THEM, HERMANN HESSE'S "SIDDHARTHA,"

"THE LAST TEMPTATION OF CHRIST,"

"ONE HUNDRED YEARS OF SOLITUDE"

AND BRONTE'S "WUTHERING HEIGHTS."

ALMOST ALL THE BOOKS THAT SHE'S READING ARE BOOKS THAT, BY NATURE, ARE SUBVERSIVE OF WHAT THE REGIME PREACHES.

"WUTHERING HEIGHTS" IS INTERESTING TO ME, PARTLY OF COURSE, BECAUSE IT WAS VERY DANGEROUS.

IT IS ABOUT LOVE, PASSION AND THE SACREDNESS OF THE PROFANE.

( speaking Farsi )

Narrator: AND BEYOND "WUTHERING HEIGHTS,"

KAZANTSAKIS'S "FREEDOM OR DEATH."

Nafisi: THESE BOOKS ARE SO DIFFERENT, AND THAT SHOWS THE CURIOSITY--

A MIND THAT JUST WANTS TO KNOW, HAS THE URGE TO KNOW.

Narrator: THIRST FOR KNOWLEDGE AND WHAT HER MOTHER DESCRIBED AS STRONG RELIGIOUS FAITH BROUGHT NEDA HERE TO TEHRAN'S AZAD UNIVERSITY TO STUDY ISLAMIC PHILOSOPHY.

AS IN MOST GOVERNMENT BUILDINGS LIKE THIS COURT, BEFORE THEY CAN ENTER, WOMEN ARE INSPECTED TO ENSURE THERE IS NO TRACE OF MAKEUP, NO INFRINGEMENT OF THE STRICT DRESS CODE.

( speaking Farsi )


I WENT TO HIGH SCHOOL IN IRAN AND IT WOULD HAPPEN AT THE HIGH SCHOOLS, WHERE THEY WOULD LINE US UP AND THEY WOULD INSPECT TO SEE IF ANY OF THE GIRLS HAD MAKEUP.

THEY WOULD INSPECT TO SEE IF YOU WERE PROPERLY DRESSED, IF YOUR HAIR WAS SHOWING.

AND THE WAY THE WOMEN WOULD TREAT YOU, IT WAS AWFUL, REALLY, THE WAY THEY WOULD SLAP YOU ON THE CHEEK IF YOU HAD MAKEUP, OR COME WITH SOMETHING AND WIPE THE MAKEUP OFF VERY HARD AND HARSH.

IT'S VERY HUMILIATING FOR WOMEN.

Narrator: ILHAM-- NOT HER REAL NAME--

WENT TO COLLEGE WITH NEDA.

TO PROTECT HER FAMILY IN IRAN, HER IDENTITY MUST BE CONCEALED.

ONCE NEDA WAS ARGUING WITH ONE OF THE WOMEN ABOUT HER NAIL POLISH OR MAYBE THE RED LIPSTICK SHE WORE.

I HAD JUST ARRIVED AND I WAS ALSO WEARING RED LIPSTICK AND PINK HIGH HEELS, WHICH IS COMPLETELY FORBIDDEN IN OUR UNIVERSITY.

THAT WOMAN WAS VERY BUSY ARGUING WITH NEDA, AND NEDA WINKED AN EYE AT ME, LIKE, "OKAY, GO. I'M ALREADY FIGHTING WITH HER."

AND I WAS JUST SNEAKING BEHIND HER AND RAN AWAY, AND WENT TO THE UNIVERSITY.

SHE EVEN STARTED ARGUING MUCH LOUDER SO THAT THE WOMAN PUT ALL HER ATTENTION TO NEDA, AND I WAS JUST A SNEAKING BEHIND HER AND THEN RAN AWAY...

( laughs ) TO GO TO THE CAMPUS.

Narrator: AFTER JUST TWO TERMS, NEDA DROPPED OUT.

SHE USED TO SAY, "THE GOD THEY ARE TEACHING US AT THESE UNIVERSITIES IS DIFFERENT FROM THE GOD I WORSHIP."

HER PROFESSOR TAUGHT THEM ABOUT A VENGEFUL GOD, BUT NEDA SAID, "THIS IS NOT MY GOD.

THE GOD I WORSHIP IS A COMPASSIONATE AND LOVING GOD."

THE WHOLE IDEA WITH THIS REGIME IS THAT BECAUSE THEY CONFISCATED RELIGION AND TURNED IT INTO AN IDEOLOGY, THEY DEPRIVED IT OF EVERYTHING THAT MAKES RELIGION HUMANE, OF EVERYTHING THAT A GIRL LIKE NEDA WOULD BE ATTRACTED TO.

SO THIS GOVERNMENT, IN FACT, DESTROYED RELIGION BY CLAIMING IT AND CONFISCATING IT.

( speaking Farsi )

Ali Ansari: YOUNG PEOPLE ARE TURNING AWAY FROM RELIGION IN DROVES BECAUSE THEY LOOK AND SEE WHAT THE GOVERNMENT IS DOING IN THE NAME OF RELIGION.

WHEN THEY MENTION THE NAME OF GOD, YOU SAY IN ARABIC

"BISMILLAH HIR RAHMAN NIR RAHEEM."

WHAT DOES THAT TRANSLATE TO?

"IN THE NAME OF GOD, THE COMPASSIONATE AND THE MERCIFUL."

IT'S WHAT YOU SAY-- IT'S WHAT YOU SAY AS--

AND YET THIS LOT HAVE INTERPRETED THIS AS IF TO SAY "IN THE NAME OF GOD, THE BAD-TEMPERED AND NASTY."

Narrator: ACCORDING TO HER MOTHER, NEDA DECIDED TO PURSUE A CAREER THAT WOULD GIVE HER THE FREEDOM TO TRAVEL.

SHE USED TO TELL ME "EVEN IF IT'S JUST FOR ONE DAY BEFORE MY DEATH, I WANT TO LIVE OUTSIDE IRAN."

SHE STARTED TO GO TO A LANGUAGE COURSE TO LEARN TURKISH.

Narrator: NEDA VISITED TURKEY AGAIN AND AGAIN, SOMETIMES WORKING AS A TOUR GUIDE.

HERE SHE COULD DRESS AS SHE WANTED AND ROAM FREE AMONG FRIENDS, BUT BACK IN IRAN HER ONLY FREEDOM WAS BEHIND CLOSED DOORS.

DANCING, ARAB DANCING, WAS HER OBSESSION, AND MUSIC-- WESTERN AND TURKISH POP.

BUT ABOVE ALL, THE MUSIC OF GOOGOOSH...

( singing in Persian )

...AN IRANIAN SUPERSTAR.

Narrator: NEDA TOOK SINGING CLASSES AND PRACTICED THE SONGS OF HER IDOL, GOOGOOSH.

( speaking Farsi )

( via translator ) AFTER THE REVOLUTION, I LIVED UNDER THAT REGIME FOR 21 YEARS, MUCH LIKE NEDA.

I WAS BANNED FROM PERFORMING, EVEN FROM APPEARING IN PUBLIC.

I SPENT A MONTH IN PRISON.

I WAS INTERROGATED FOUR TIMES IN EVIN PRISON.

Narrator: GOOGOOSH EVENTUALLY LEFT IRAN, FREE AGAIN TO PERFORM.

HER SONGS SPOKE DIRECTLY TO NEDA'S HEART.

IT'S WONDERFUL THAT MY MUSIC RESONATED SO WELL WITH NEDA, BUT HER VOICE IS MORE POWERFUL THAN MINE.

SHE SPEAKS TO ALL THE WORLD.

( speaking )

Narrator: AS THE FAMILY LAID OUT MORE AND MORE THAT WAS PERSONAL TO NEDA, IT WAS DIFFICULT TO THINK OF HER AS THIS GREAT SYMBOL, THE VOICE OF THE NATION.

HERE WAS A GIRL WHO ALWAYS WANTED TO LOOK HER BEST, WHO WORKED OUT AT THE GYM AND FOLLOWED HER OWN STRICT DIET PLAN.

( speaking, crying )

Narrator: A GIRL WHO WANTED TO LISTEN TO THE MUSIC AND READ THE BOOKS SHE LOVED, TO INDULGE HERSELF IN THE COOLEST FASHIONS AND WHO DREAMED OF A RELATIONSHIP WHERE ALL THE LOVE SHE COULD GIVE WOULD BE GIVEN BACK TO HER IN RETURN.

IN SO MANY WAYS, ANY GIRL ANYWHERE.

BUT THIS WASN'T ANYWHERE.

THIS WAS THE ISLAMIC REPUBLIC OF IRAN, WHERE EVEN THE CLOTHES YOU WEAR HAVE A POLITICAL MEANING.

Nafisi: NEDA BECAME A HEROINE, NOT BECAUSE SHE WAS DIFFERENT, BUT IN FACT SHE SHARED THE SAME DESIRES WITH MILLIONS OF YOUNG GIRLS WHO LIVE AROUND THE WORLD.

THEY ALL WANT THE SAME THING.

Narrator: BUT WHAT DID MAKE NEDA DIFFERENT FROM THOSE MILLIONS OF OTHER YOUNG GIRLS WAS HER EXCEPTIONAL COURAGE AND STRENGTH.

AND IN JUNE OF LAST YEAR THAT STRENGTH WAS PUT TO THE TEST.

( crowd shouting )

Narrator: THE HARD-LINE INCUMBENT MAHMOUD AHMADINEJAD, WAS SEEKING RE-ELECTION TO THE PRESIDENCY.

THE WHOLE PROCESS WAS SUSPECT FROM THE START.

( car honks )

MOST OF THE MANIPULATION AND FABRICATION HAPPENED BEFORE THE ELECTIONS.

AHMADINEJAD HAD ACCESS TO GOVERNMENT RESOURCES.

HE WENT AROUND THE COUNTRY AND SPENT MONEY LIKE THERE WAS NO TOMORROW.

( cheering )

HE WAS PAYING PEOPLE HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS AND MILLIONS OF DOLLARS TO VOTE FOR HIM, BUILDING SCHOOLS HERE AND THERE, BUILDING ROADS ALL OVER THE COUNTRY.

AND THEY DIDN'T EVEN CARE ABOUT FINISHING THE ROADS.

THEY JUST STARTED THE ROADS IN ORDER TO GET THE VOTES.

( Ahmadinejad speaking )

Narrator: BUT THAT WAS JUST THE BEGINNING.

475 PEOPLE, INCLUDING MEMBERS OF PARLIAMENT AND FORMER MINISTERS, HAD PUT THEIR NAMES FORWARD AS POTENTIAL CHALLENGERS, BUT AFTER THE ALL-POWERFUL GUARDIAN COUNCIL HAD WORKED THROUGH THE LIST, ONLY THREE OPPOSITION NAMES WERE LEFT.

ALL OF THEM, OR SO IT SEEMED, SAFE ESTABLISHMENT FIGURES:

MOUSAVI, A FORMER PRIME MINISTER;

KAROUBI, A FORMER PARLIAMENTARY SPEAKER;

AND REZAIE, THE FORMER HEAD OF THE REVOLUTIONARY GUARD.

THIS WAS NOT A REVOLUTION IN THE MAKING.

THIS WAS SIMPLY AN ELECTION UNDER THE RULES ESTABLISHED BY THE ISLAMIC REPUBLIC.

Narrator: AND NEDA, LIKE MILLIONS OF OTHER YOUNG PEOPLE, WOULD HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH IT.

SHE USED TO SAY, "THE ELECTION HAS BEEN DECIDED.

THE ELECTION IS FUTILE.

IT'S OBVIOUS THAT AHMADINEJAD WILL BE PRESIDENT.

THE PERSON WHO HAS THE MOST FOLLOWERS WILL NEVER BE PRESIDENT HERE."

Narrator: THEN SOMETHING REMARKABLE HAPPENED.

FOR THE FIRST TIME EVER, RIVAL CANDIDATES WENT HEAD TO HEAD WITH AHMADINEJAD IN A SERIES OF TELEVISED DEBATES.

THEY ATTRACTED HUGE AUDIENCES. ( crowd cheers )

( speaking Farsi )

Ansari: WHAT THOSE DEBATES DID WAS IT DEFINED FOR PEOPLE WHAT THEY DISLIKED ABOUT AHMADINEJAD.

I MEAN HE CAME ACROSS AS A DEEPLY DEEPLY UNPLEASANT CHARACTER, VERY CERTAIN OF HIS OWN POSITION, CONCEITED AND QUITE ABUSIVE TO HIS OPPONENTS.

HE THREATENED TO REVEAL VARIOUS DOSSIERS ABOUT MOUSAVI'S WIFE.

HE SAID, "SHALL I REVEAL THE FILE? SHALL I REVEAL THE FILE?"

MOUSAVI QUITE RIGHTLY SAID, "THIS IS EXACTLY WHAT WE DON'T WANT.

WE DON'T WANT GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS TO BUILD UP DOSSIERS ABOUT THE CITIZENS AND THEN THREATEN TO REVEAL THEM."

I THINK PEOPLE THEN REALIZED THAT THIS WAS ALMOST LIKE A FIGHT TO THE DEATH.

I MEAN, WHEN THE STAKES BECAME REALLYHIGH, AND THEY REALIZED THIS WASN'T JUST A PIECE OF THEATER, THEY THOUGHT, "WELL, LET'S GO VOTE."

Narrator: EVEN BEFORE THE FIRST DEBATE WAS OVER PEOPLE WERE CELEBRATING IN THE STREETS.

( chanting in Farsi )

NEDA HAD BEEN AT OUR HOUSE DURING THE TV DEBATE.

AFTER THAT, SHE, MY HUSBAND AND I DROVE THROUGH THE STREETS.

NEDA CALLED MOM AND TOLD HER, "YOU'RE MISSING THESE SCENES.

EVERYBODY IS OUT."

AND MOM COMPLAINED WHY DIDN'T WE FETCH HER?

IT'S VERY SAD WHEN YOU SEE THAT JOYFUL WEEK, AND YOU REALIZE WHAT FINALLY HAPPENED.

( cheering ) Narrator: BUT FOR THAT ONE WEEK, THE ATMOSPHERE ON THE STREETS WAS EUPHORIC.

( whistling )

Barhari: PEOPLE THOUGHT THAT SOME CHANGES CAN HAPPEN INSIDE THE COUNTRY.

BECAUSE OF THAT VERY LITTLE CHANGE THAT THEY WERE HOPING FOR THEY WERE SO JUBILANT, THEY WERE SO HAPPY.

IT WAS LIKE A PARTY SCENE FOR ABOUT TWO, THREE WEEKS BEFORE THE ELECTIONS.

Hejazi: THIS SMALLEST HOPE THAT SOMETHING COULD CHANGE HAD CREATED AN ENORMOUS ENERGY AMONG THE YOUNGER POPULATION.

AFTER THE FOUR YEARS OF DESPAIR THAT HAD BEFALLEN THE COUNTRY, WE WERE CLAIMING OUR OWN DESTINIES AND THAT WAS EXCITING.

( chanting )

MR. AHMADINEJAD'S SUPPORTERS WERE ALSO IN THE STREET AND IT WAS AMAZING TO SEE HOW BOTH SIDES RESPECTED EACH OTHER'S CHOICE, THAT, "OKAY, THIS PART OF THE STREET IS FOR US, THAT PART IS FOR YOU," YOU KNOW?

AND THERE WERE NO POLICE, NO AUTHORITIES, BUT PEOPLE WERE SO GOOD TOGETHER.

IT WAS SUCH AN AMAZING EXPERIENCE FOR ALL OF US.

Narrator: MIR-HOSSEIN MOUSAVI SOON EMERGED AS THE OPPOSITION FRONT-RUNNER, ATTRACTING MASSIVE CROWDS TO HIS RALLIES.

BUT IT WAS HIS WIFE, ZAHRA RAHNAVARD, WHO GAVE REAL LUSTER TO HIS CAMPAIGN, EVEN HOLDING RALLIES OF HER OWN.

( speaking Farsi )

Narrator: A WOMAN PLAYING A MAJOR ROLE IN A POLITICAL CAMPAIGN--

THIS REALLY WAS A BREAKTHROUGH IN THE ISLAMIC REPUBLIC OF IRAN.

JUNE 12th, ELECTION DAY.

THERE WAS REAL OPTIMISM IN THE AIR AND PEOPLE WERE OFF TO THE POLLS EARLY IN THE MORNING.

THEN SUSPICIONS STARTED TO BUILD.

OPPOSITION CANDIDATES COMPLAINED THAT THEIR PHONE AND EMAIL COMMUNICATION HAD BEEN OBSTRUCTED AND THEIR OBSERVERS DENIED ADMISSION TO THE POLLING STATIONS.

NEDA WENT WITH MOHAMMED TO THREE VOTING STATIONS, BUT THERE WERE NO REPRESENTATIVES FOR THE OPPOSITION CANDIDATES.

SHE CLASHED WITH THE PEOPLE THERE.

SHE SAID, "WELL, WHOSE REPRESENTATIVEISHERE?"

AND THEY SAID, "JUST THE REPRESENTATIVE OF AHMADINEJAD."

SHE SAID, "THIS IS NONSENSE," AND SHE DIDN'T VOTE.

Narrator: THAT EVENING, WHILE PEOPLE WERE STILL VOTING, THE BASIJ RAIDED MOUSAVI'S HEADQUARTERS AND CLOSED IT DOWN, CONFISCATING FILES AND DOCUMENTS.

THE EVIDENCE WAS CAPTURED ON CELL PHONES.

( yelling )

THEY STARTED A MASS ARREST OF POLITICAL ACTIVISTS ALL AROUND THE COUNTRY.

IF YOU THINK IT WAS A HEALTHY ELECTION AND YOU ARE THE PRESIDENT OF THE COUNTRY, WHY THIS?

Woman: This is very interesting.

Narrator: AND JUST TWO HOURS AFTER ALL THE POLLS HAD CLOSED, STATE TELEVISION ANNOUNCED THAT AHMADINEJAD HAD SECURED OVER 60% OF THE VOTES ALREADY COUNTED AND WAS HEADING FOR A RESOUNDING VICTORY.

IN THE EARLY HOURS OF THE FOLLOWING MORNING, AHMADINEJAD'S VICTORY WAS CONFIRMED.

HOW DID THEY KNOW THAT HE HAD WON BY 63%

WHEN THEY HADN'T EVEN STARTED COUNTING?

AND HOW--

AND THAT 60% TURNED OUT TO BE THE FINAL RESULT.

YOU KNOW, THIS IS SOME KIND OF FORTUNE-TELLING.

IN MY COUNTRY, THEY ARE STILL COUNTING THE VOTES NOT BY COMPUTER OR ANY DIGITAL DEVICE BUT PEOPLE SEE THEM COUNTED.

BUT THIS TIME IN SIX HOURS THEY FINISHED.

WITHOUT A COMPUTER OR ANYTHING? HOW IS IT POSSIBLE?

ALL SORTS OF THINGS BUILD UP TO A CASE FOR A SERIOUS SERIOUS MISHANDLING OF EVENTS AND A RIGGING OF THE ELECTIONS.

NEDA WAS SO ANGRY THAT SHE ARGUED WITH ME.

"YOU TOLD ME THAT MOUSAVI WOULD WIN. WHAT HAPPENED?"

WHAT WAS SHOCKING TO THE POPULATION WAS THAT EVEN THE LIMITEDCHOICE THAT WAS SUPPOSEDLY GIVEN TO THEM WAS FAKE.

Narrator: IF THE RIGGED ELECTION WAS NOT PROVOCATION ENOUGH, ON THE FOLLOWING EVENING, SUNDAY, JUNE 14th, POLICE AND THE BASIJ MILITIA MOUNTED AN ATTACK ON TEHRAN UNIVERSITY.

ONE OF THE AGGRESSORS WAS SO APPALLED AT WHAT THEY WERE DOING THAT HE RECORDED THE ATTACK ON HIS CELL PHONE, AND LATER POSTED HIS EVIDENCE ON THE WEB.

( yelling )

FIVE STUDENTS WERE KILLED, OVER 130 ARRESTED AND IMPRISONED.

THE NEXT DAY, SOME OF THE LARGEST CROWDS EVER SEEN IN THIS CITY FINALLY ROSE IN PROTEST, AND NEDA WAS THERE FROM THE START.

SHE JOINED THE OTHERS IN PROTEST BECAUSE SHE FELT THE IRANIAN PEOPLE HAD BEEN INSULTED.

EVEN IF SHE HADN'T VOTED HERSELF, HER MOTHER, HER SISTER AND HER FRIENDS HAD VOTED.

( chattering )

Bahari: AND YOU COULD SEE THESE MILLIONS OF PEOPLE.

I THINK I SAW AT LEAST TWO OR THREE MILLION PEOPLE ON THE STREETS OF TEHRAN ON JUNE 15th.

THEY CAME OUT TO THE STREETS AND DEMONSTRATED PEACEFULLY.

IN THOSE FOUR DAYS I THINK WE REALLY WITNESSED THE MATURITY-- THE POLITICAL MATURITY OF THE IRANIAN PEOPLE.

THEY KNEW WHAT THEY WANTED.

THEY JUST WANTED THE REVERSAL OF VOTES.

THEY DIDN'T WANT AHMADINEJAD AS THEIR PRESIDENT.

THEY SAID, "WE HAVE TO BE QUIET.

WE HAVE TO BE VERY PEACEFUL BECAUSE WE DON'T WANT THE GOVERNMENT TO HAVE AN EXCUSE TO TREAT US VIOLENTLY."

( chanting )

I COULD NOT SEE WHERE THE CROWD STARTED AND WHERE IT ENDED.

I WAS JUST GAZING AT THEM, SAYING, "THAT MANY PEOPLE?"

AND I GOT SO ENTHUSIASTIC, I JUST SHOUTED "I LOVE YOU PEOPLE!

I'M SO PROUD TO BE ONE OF YOU!"

I SAW REPRESENTATIVES OF ALL PARTS OF SOCIETY:

WOMEN WHO HAD COVERED THEMSELVES WITH THE CHADOR, GIRLS WHO WERE MORE OPEN, BOYS WHO WERE WEARING SHORT SLEEVES, MEN WITH LARGE BEARDS.

Ilham: ALL AGES, ALL CLASSES, RELIGIOUS, NON-RELIGIOUS-- ALL OF THEM.

YOU SAW FAMILIES.

A VERY VERY OLD WOMAN I SAW--

SHE WAS ABOUT 90 YEARS OLD--

SHE COULD HARDLY WALK, BUT SHE CAME.

THE MOST IMPORTANT PART WAS THE SILENCE.

THEY DECIDED THAT SILENCE WOULD SPEAK FOR THEM.

SO THEY DIDN'T SHOUT SLOGANS, THEY DIDN'T SAY, "DEATH TO THIS. DEATH TO THAT."

THEY JUST HELD UP THEIR HANDS, SHOWING THE VICTORY SIGN.

Narrator: AND IT WAS THE WOMEN WHO SET THE TONE.

THE WOMEN'S PARTICIPATION WAS ABSOLUTELY EXCEPTIONAL.

THEY WERE LEADING THE PROTESTS.

YOU SEE AT THE FOREFRONT OF THE STRUGGLE NOT JUST MODERN, SECULAR WOMEN, YOUNG WOMEN LIKE NEDA;

YOU SEE WOMEN WEARING THE VEIL AND BEING VERY TRADITIONAL SIDE BY SIDE WITH THESE OTHER WOMEN.

( chanting )

Narrator: WOMEN AT THE FOREFRONT, AND THE YOUNG.

Hejazi: NEDA SYMBOLIZES A GENERATION THAT THIS ELECTION WAS ALL ABOUT AND THIS GREEN MOVEMENT WAS ALL ABOUT.

SHE WAS A GIRL TRYING TO GET MORE FREEDOM.

SHE DIDN'T WANT TO TAKE POWER.

SHE WASN'T LOOKING FOR POLITICS.

SHE WASN'T LOOKING FOR ANYTHING OTHER THAN SOME INDIVIDUAL FREEDOM AND SOME FREEDOM OF SPEECH.

BASIC RIGHTS.

THAT'S WHY SHE CRYSTALIZES ALL THOSE HOPES AND DREAMS THAT WERE SHATTERED AFTER THE ELECTION.

Narrator: AND NEDA WAS ON THE PROTESTS EVERY DAY, SOMETIMES WITH HER SISTER, HER BROTHER, EVEN HER MOTHER.

AND ON ONE OF THOSE DAYS, THREE BASIJI WOMEN APPROACHED NEDA.

VERY POLITELY, ONE OF THESE WOMEN ASKED NEDA, "DEAR, PLEASE DON'T COME OUT LOOKING SO BEAUTIFUL."

NEDA SMILED WITH HER BEAUTIFUL TEETH AND SAID, "AM I BEAUTIFUL?"

AND THEY SAID, "YOU ARE VERY VERY LOVELY.

DO US A FAVOR AND DON'T COME OUT BECAUSE THE BASIJI MEN TARGET BEAUTIFUL GIRLS, AND THEY WILL SHOOT YOU."

THEN ONE OF THEM SAID, "I'M ALSO A PSYCHOLOGIST, AND I KNOW THE DANGER OF BEAUTY TO THESE MEN".

Narrator: "AND I KNOW THE DANGER OF BEAUTY TO THESE MEN."

A DREADFUL OMEN, AND SUCH AN INSIGHT INTO THE FUNDAMENTALIST MIND.

BECAUSE THEY CANNOT CONTROL THEMSELVES IN FRONT OF BEAUTY.

THEY KNOW THAT IF THEY DON'T CONTROL THEMSELVES, THEY WILL LOSE THE PARADISE, THEY LOSE THEIR RELATION TO THE GODS--

TO THE GOD, SO DON'T LOOK AT BEAUTY.

BECAUSE IF YOU LOOK AT BEAUTY, THEN THE DEVIL WILL COME IN YOUR MIND AND WILL GIVE YOU SUCH BAD IDEAS ABOUT IT.

THE WHOLE THING IN THEIR LIVES IS THAT YOU SHOULD CONTROL YOURSELF, AND THEY CANNOT CONTROL THEMSELVES IN FRONT OF BEAUTY.

THEY WANT TO KILL IT.

( people shouting )

Narrator: ON JUNE 16th, FOUR DAYS AFTER THE ELECTIONS, THE POLICE, THE MILITARY AND THE BASIJ WERE UNLEASHED.

TO SUPPRESS THIS EVIDENCE, JOURNALISTS WERE CLEARED OFF THE STREETS--

SOME IMPRISONED, OTHERS EXPELLED.

( woman shouts )

I WAS BEATEN MYSELF FIVE OR SIX TIMES WITH A BATON AND I SAW PEOPLE BEING PUSHED AGAINST A WALL AND BEATEN.

THE THING THAT MADE ME MOST ANGRY, REALLY, WAS THAT IT WAS ABSOLUTELY UNPROVOKED.

( people shouting )

SUDDENLY, IN A MOMENT, THEY START SHOOTING.

( gunfire ) ( people screaming )

AND THERE WAS THIS VERY YOUNG BOY WHO GOT MURDERED A FEW METERS AWAY FROM ME.

I STILL HAVE NIGHTMARES ABOUT HIM.

( people shouting )

ONE PERSON COMMENTED TO ME-- HE SAID, "IT'S LIKE THE MONGOLS HAVE RETURNED.

THERE IS NO LAW IN THIS COUNTRY."

THE ANARCHY AND THE VIOLENCE BEING EXERCISED ON THE STREETS DIDN'T COME FROM THE DEMONSTRATORS AT ALL.

IT CAME FROM GOVERNMENT-SPONSORED THUGS.

AND BEAUTIFULLY, OF COURSE, IT WAS ALL CAPTURED ON THESE CAMERA PHONES.

Narrator: CELL PHONES AND DIGITAL CAMERAS, CREATING A MASSIVE PROBLEM FOR THE IRANIAN AUTHORITIES.

ALTHOUGH THE JOURNALISTS WERE OFF THE STREETS, THE INFORMATION STILL KEPT FLOWING.

WHAT THE AUTHORITIES HAD FAILED TO UNDERSTAND WAS THAT THE IRANIAN PEOPLE THEMSELVES HAD THE COURAGE AND NOW THE KNOW-HOW TO GET THE EVIDENCE OUT TO THE WORLD.

( shouting )

THE 2009 DEMONSTRATION IN IRAN IS THE BEGINNING OF THE NEW ERA IN THE WHOLE WORLD, IN HUMAN HISTORY OF CITIZEN JOURNALISM.

( people shouting ) Narrator: CITIZEN JOURNALISM.

THROUGH YOUTUBE AND NETWORKING SITES LIKE TWITTER, THE SOUNDS AND IMAGES OF THE UPRISING CAME FLOODING IN.

Victoria Grand: YOU CAN HEAR THE SCREAMING ON ONE SIDE, PEOPLE RUNNING ON ANOTHER SIDE.

YOU REALLY GET THAT SENSE OF BEING THERE.

PEOPLE WERE HOLDING UP THE CAMERA AS IF IT WERE A SWORD, IN A WAY.

AND THEY REALLY UNDERSTOOD THE RALLYING POWER OF

"IF WE CAN GET THE GLOBAL COMMUNITY TO KNOW WHAT IS HAPPENING, THAT WILL BE OUR GREATEST DEFENSE, THAT WILL BE OUR GREATEST HOPE."

Narrator: THE STATE DEPARTMENT IN WASHINGTON WAS QUICK OFF THE MARK.

WORD WENT OUT FROM HERE TO THE HEADQUARTERS OF TWITTER IN SAN FRANCISCO, SUGGESTING THEY MIGHT RESCHEDULE A ROUTINE MAINTENANCE SHUTDOWN TO A MORE IRAN-FRIENDLY TIME.

JARED COHEN MADE THE CALL AND SOON HAD THE ANSWER HE WANTED.

ULTIMATELY, I REMEMBER GETTING AN EMAIL ON MY BLACKBERRY LATE AT NIGHT, THE SAME DAY THAT I HAD CONTACTED THEM, SAYING THEY WORKED IT OUT AND THEY WERE GONNA RESCHEDULE THEIR MAINTENANCE SO THEY'D DO IT AT A TIME THAT WAS CONVENIENT FOR IRANIANS AS OPPOSED TO A TIME THAT'S CONVENIENT FOR AMERICANS.

SO THEY DID IT IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT IRAN TIME.

( techno music playing )

Narrator: THE MESSAGES POURING OUT OF IRAN BROUGHT A STRONG RESPONSE FROM THE YOUNG--

THE CHILDREN OF THE INTERNET, CONVERSING WITH EACH OTHER AND INFLUENCING EACH OTHER ACROSS NATIONAL BORDERS.

MORE AND MORE, THEY ARE CREATING A SINGLE COMMUNITY IN WHICH AUTHORITY IS CONTINUALLY QUESTIONED.

A PRIME EXAMPLE-- 25-YEAR-OLD AUSTIN HEAP.

FREEDOM IS SOMETHING YOU HAVE TO FIGHT FOR, IT'S NOT SOMETHING THAT YOU WAKE UP AND IT'S JUST THERE.

THERE'S ALWAYS SOMEONE OUT THERE WHO WANTS TO CONTROL YOU, TELL YOU WHAT YOU CAN AND CAN'T DO.

I DON'T CONSIDER MYSELF POLITICAL, BUT WHAT I DO CONSIDER MYSELF TO BE IS SOMEONE WHO REALLY PUSHES BACK WHEN TOLD WHAT TO DO.

AND I CERTAINLY HAVE NO RESPECT FOR A GOVERNMENT THAT USES, YOU KNOW, BRUTAL AND VIOLENT METHODS OF CONTROLLING PEOPLE.

Narrator: THIS IS LANGUAGE THAT NEDA WOULD HAVE UNDERSTOOD.

THE MORE BRUTAL THEY GOT, THE MORE DETERMINED I BECAME TO, YOU KNOW, NOT GIVE THEM THE POWER TO SILENCE PEOPLE.

Narrator: WHEN THE AUTHORITIES IN IRAN TRIED TO STOP THE INFORMATION FLOW, FILTERING THE INTERNET, AUSTIN AND A TECHIE FRIEND FOUGHT BACK.

CITIZEN JOURNALISM ENABLED.

THE FIRST THING THAT WE DID, YOU KNOW, IN THE IMMEDIATE AFTERMATH OF THE ELECTION WAS SET UP WHAT ARE CALLED PROXY SERVERS.

AND A PROXY SERVER--

ESSENTIALLY, YOU CONFIGURE YOUR COMPUTER TO USE IT AND THEN IT WILL BOUNCE YOUR CONNECTION THROUGH ANOTHER COUNTRY.

SO INSTEAD OF CONNECTING FROM IRAN DIRECTLY TO FACEBOOK, FOR EXAMPLE-- WHICH THEY BLOCK--

YOU CONNECT FROM IRAN TO AUSTRALIA THEN TO FACEBOOK.

Narrator: THE IRANIANS SOON FOUND WAYS TO BLOCK THE PROXIES, SO AUSTIN TOOK THE CHALLENGE TO ANOTHER TECHNICAL LEVEL.

WE SAT DOWN AND THOUGHT, "HOW CAN WE PUSH THE IRANIAN GOVERNMENT ALL THE WAY UP AGAINST THE WALL?

HOW CAN WE TAKE THE TECHNOLOGY THEY HAVE AND USE IT AGAINST THEM?"

Narrator: AUSTIN DESIGNED A SYSTEM CALLED HAYSTACK.

IT WAS AN INGENIOUS METHOD OF HIDING ENCRYPTED DATA INSIDE OFFICIAL IRANIAN GOVERNMENT TRAFFIC.

SOON THE MAJOR WESTERN NEWS AGENCIES WERE TURNING TO AUSTIN TO GET THEIR INFORMATION OUT OF IRAN.

I GO FROM BEING A 24-YEAR-OLD, SPENDING MY TIME PLAYING VIDEO GAMES AND HANGING OUT WITH MY FRIENDS TO ALL OF A SUDDEN HAVING TO MAINTAIN OPEN COMMUNICATIONS FOR AN ENTIRE COUNTRY.

( Ali Khamenei speaking Farsi over P.A. )

Narrator: AND ALL THE TIME IN IRAN, THE GOVERNMENT'S MOOD WAS HARDENING.

JUNE 19th, ONE WEEK AFTER THE ELECTION, THE SUPREME LEADER, KHAMENEI, ADDRESSES THE NATION.

UNELECTED BY THE PEOPLE, HE WAS SOMEONE CONSIDERED TO BE ABOVE POLITICS--

GOD'S REPRESENTATIVE ON EARTH.

BUT ON THAT DAY, HE CROSSED A LINE.

KHAMENEI MADE HIMSELF THE ENEMY OF THE PEOPLE BY WHOLE-HEARTEDLY SUPPORTING AHMADINEJAD.

Bahari: HE SAID THERE WAS NO WRONGDOING, VOTE RIGGING IS NOT POSSIBLE IN IRAN, PEOPLE SHOULD GO BACK HOME OR OTHERWISE I'M GOING TO ORDER THE SECURITY FORCES TO CRUSH THE DEMONSTRATIONS BY ANY MEANS POSSIBLE.

Bahktiar: WHAT RELIGIOUS LEADER STANDS ON FRIDAY PRAYER IN THE MOST RELIGIOUS DAY OF THE WEEK AND PREACHES BLOODSHED, THREATENS HIS PEOPLE WITH BLOODSHED IF THEY COME OUT TO PEACEFULLY PROTEST?

WHAT KIND OF A SUPREME RELIGIOUS LEADER DOES THAT?

Hejazi: ON THAT DAY THE SUPREME LEADER WAGED WAR ON THE NATION.

HE VIRTUALLY SIGNED NEDA'S DEATH SENTENCE ON THAT DAY.

( people shouting )

Ansari: AFTER KHAMENEI'S SPEECH, IT BECAME BLATANTLY OBVIOUS TO MOST PEOPLE THAT THIS WAS NO LONGER ABOUT AN ELECTION.

THIS IS NOT ABOUT WHETHER THE VOTE WAS RIGGED ONE WAY OR ANOTHER.

IT'S ABOUT WHETHER IN THE 21st CENTURY IN AN EDUCATED COUNTRY LIKE IRAN THERE IS PLACE FOR A GOD KING.

( shouting )

Ansari: WE LIVE IN A WORLD WHERE THERE IS NO PLACE FOR THE GOD KING ANYMORE.

THE NEXT DAY, ON SATURDAY THE 20th, WHEN PEOPLE CAME OUT TO THE STREETS THEY THOUGHT THAT THERE WAS A MILITARY REGIME IN POWER.

I HAVE NEVER SEEN THAT MANY REVOLUTIONARY GUARDS, POLICE AND PARAMILITARY BASIJ FORCES ON THE STREETS IN MY LIFE.

( people shouting )

Ilham: IT WAS EXACTLY LIKE STARTING A WAR AGAINST THE PEOPLE.

IT JUST MADE PEOPLE MUCH MORE ANGRY.

UNTIL YESTERDAY WE WANTED REFORM.

FROM NOW ON, JUST WITHDRAWAL OF YOU FROM POWER.

THAT'S THE END OF THE ISLAMIC REPUBLIC FOR ALL OF US.

RIGHT AFTER THAT, I HEARD FOR THE VERY FIRST TIME, PEOPLE CHANTING, "DEATH TO KHAMENEI.

OUR LEADER IS A DICTATOR. HE SHOULD BE REMOVED." ( people shouting )

I BEGGED NEDA NOT TO GO OUT.

SHE SAID, "I HAVE TO GO. I HAVE TO GO.

IF I DON'T GO OUT, WHO WILL?"

( shouting ) ( gunshot )

Narrator: ANYONE OUT ON THE STREETS THAT DAY WAS DECLARING WAR ON THE ISLAMIC REPUBLIC OF IRAN AND RISKING A FEROCIOUS REACTION.

( gunfire )

NEDA HAD THOUGHT ABOUT ALL THE CONSEQUENCES.

SHE KNEW THERE WAS A RISK SHE'D BE TORTURED, IMPRISONED OR EVEN KILLED.

SHE KNEW ALL OF THIS, BUT SHE WAS NOT AFRAID.

NEDA LEFT THE HOUSE AT 3:30.

I RANG HER AT 4:30.

ACTUALLY, I RANG HER EVERY HALF HOUR.

I ASKED HER WHERE SHE WAS.

SHE SAID, "WE'RE IN AMIRABAD AND IT'S LIKE HELL."

SHE SAID, "THERE ARE SO MANY GOVERNMENT FORCES OUT HERE.

I'VE NEVER SEEN SO MANY IN MY LIFE BEFORE."

I ASKED, "WHAT ARE THEY DOING?"

AND SHE SAID "WHAT DO YOU THINK THEY'RE DOING?

THEY'RE CHASING US AND BEATING US."

I PLEADED WITH HER TO COME BACK HOME.

SHE SAID, "MOM, I WILL. DON'T WORRY."

I RANG HER AGAIN AFTER HALF AN HOUR AND ASKED WHERE SHE WAS.

SHE SAID, "I'M AT THE CLINIC.

THEY THREW TEAR GAS AT US AND MY EYES ARE BURNING.

I'VE LIT A CIGARETTE TO STOP THE BURNING."

I BEGGED HER, "NEDA, PLEASE COME HOME.

PLEASE COME BACK."

SHE SAID, "MOM, OKAY, I WILL."

( shouting )

Narrator: BUT NEDA RETURNED TO THE FRAY, FLANKED BY HER SINGING TEACHER IN HIS DISTINCTIVE STRIPED BLUE SHIRT.

SHE WEARS A BASEBALL CAP ATOP THE OBLIGATORY BLACK.

CELL PHONE CAMERAS CAPTURED THE LAST MINUTES OF NEDA'S LIFE AND THE DOCTOR WHO HELD HER AS SHE DIED DESCRIBES THE SCENE.

Hejazi: WHAT GRABBED MY ATTENTION WAS, FIRST, SHE WAS SO ACTIVE, SHOUTING "DEATH TO THE DICTATOR,"

ACTING, SUPPORTING OTHERS, MOVING AROUND WHILE HER MUSIC TEACHER WAS TRYING TO PULL HER BACK.

BUT SHE DIDN'T WANT TO GIVE UP.

I WAS REALLY LOOKING AT HER WITH ADMIRATION BECAUSE SHE WAS A WOMAN, A YOUNG WOMAN, SO COURAGEOUS.

I WAS DYING OUT OF FEAR OUT THERE, AND SHE WAS JUST MOVING AROUND AND SHOUTING, AND THAT WAS WHY I NOTICED HER.

THEN THE ANTI-RIOT POLICE TOOK UP THEIR BATONS AND JUST RUSHED TOWARDS THE PEOPLE, SO PEOPLE JUST SCATTERED.

( screaming )

Hejazi: ALL THE STREETS WERE BLOCKED, SO PEOPLE DIDN'T KNOW WHICH WAY TO GO.

IT WAS CHAOS.

WE RAN AND NEDA WAS RUNNING BESIDE ME.

HER MUSIC TEACHER COULDN'T RUN AS FAST AS THE OTHERS, SO NEDA TURNED BACK ALL THE TIME TO SEE IF HE WAS OKAY.

( shouting )

Hejazi: AND THEN WE HEARD THE BLAST.

( gunshots )

I TURNED BACK, LOOKED AT NEDA, WHO WAS STANDING ABOUT A METER AWAY FROM ME, AND I SAW HER LOOKING UP IN ASTONISHMENT AND SURPRISE AT THE BLOOD THAT WAS GUSHING OUT OF HER CHEST.

AND I RAN TOWARDS HER.

( yelling )

Hejazi: FROM MY IMPRESSION, SHE WAS SHOT IN HER AORTA.

IT IS THE MAJOR BLOOD VESSEL COMING OUT OF THE HEART.

NO ONE COULD SAVE HER.

IN A MINUTE, SHE BLED OUT.

HER EYES LOST THEIR LIGHT.

HER HEART STOPPED BEATING, SHE STOPPED BREATHING AND I KNEW SHE WAS DEAD.

I KNOW THE FOOTSTEPS OF DEATH.

AND WHEN I REALIZED THAT SHE WAS DEAD, I STOOD UP AND TOLD HER MUSIC TEACHER THAT SHE'S DEAD. SORRY.

BUT HE DIDN'T WANT TO BELIEVE.

( shouting )

Hejazi: A CAR PASSING BY SAW THE SCENE, STOPPED AND OFFERED TO HELP.

THREE OR FOUR PEOPLE TOOK HER BODY, PUT HER IN THE BACK SEAT AND THE CAR WENT AWAY WITH HER BODY AND THE MUSIC TEACHER, HOPING TO FIND A HOSPITAL.

TWO OR THREE MINUTES AFTER THE CAR LEFT WITH NEDA'S BODY, I WAS STILL STANDING THERE IN SHOCK.

I SAW PEOPLE PULLING SOMEBODY TOWARDS US WHO WAS SHOUTING "I DIDN'T WANT TO KILL HER.

BY GOD, I DIDN'T WANT TO KILL HER."

( shouting )

Hejazi: THEY HAD TAKEN OFF HIS SHIRT AND THEY WERE BEATING HIM.

SOME EVEN WANTED TO LYNCH HIM.

THE OTHERS DIDN'T LET THEM DO THAT.

THEY SAID, "WE'RE NOT LIKE THEM.

WE ARE HERE FOR NON-VIOLENCE."

THEY COULDN'T HAVE DELIVERED HIM TO THE POLICE.

THEY WERE AFRAID THAT THEY WOULD COMPROMISE THEIR OWN IDENTITIES AND THE POLICE WOULD ARREST THEM.

SO THERE WAS NO OTHER WAY OTHER THAN LETTING HIM GO, BUT THEY TOOK HIS I.D. CARDS SO THAT THEY COULD LATER IDENTIFY HIM AND DELIVER HIM FOR JUSTICE.

Narrator: TO DATE NO ONE HAS BEEN CHARGED WITH NEDA'S MURDER.

YOU CANNOT FIND THE MURDERER.

YOU'LL NEVER FIND THE MURDERER.

IF THE MURDERER WAS NOT FROM THIS GOVERNMENT, YOU WOULD HAVE FOUND HIM.

BUT BECAUSE HE IS FROM THIS GOVERNMENT, YOU'LL NEVER FIND HIM.

( man speaking over P.A. )

Narrator: NEDA WAS BURIED THE VERY NEXT DAY IN ACCORDANCE WITH MUSLIM CUSTOM, BUT THE AUTHORITIES WOULD NOT PERMIT ANY IMAM TO HOLD A RELIGIOUS CEREMONY, EITHER IN A MOSQUE OR AT THE GRAVESIDE.

( woman cries )

I OPENED THE SHROUD, AND SHE WAS VERY LOVELY.

SHE DIDN'T LOOK LIKE A DEAD PERSON.

SHE WAS LIKE SOMEONE SLEEPING.

SHE WAS BEAUTIFUL EVEN AFTER DEATH, LIKE AN ANGEL.

Hejazi: IT'S ASTONISHING HOW THE GOVERNMENT WAS AFRAID OF A SIMPLE FUNERAL CEREMONY.

IF SHE WASN'T SHOT BY THEIR AGENTS, WHY DIDN'T THEY LET THE FAMILY DO WHAT THEY WANTED TO DO WITH THE BODY?

( crying )

Roya: THE OBJECTIVE OF KILLING IS TO MAKE YOU INVISIBLE.

AND IF ONCE YOU'RE DEAD, YOU ARE STILL VISIBLE AND THE SADNESS OF YOUR PARENTS IS WITNESSED, THE WHOLE PURPOSE OF KILLING YOU IS DEFEATED.

( man speaking over P.A. )

Narrator: AND THE CLEARER IT BECAME THAT NEDA, THROUGH HER DEATH, HAD FOCUSED INTERNATIONAL ATTENTION ON THE CONTINUING VIOLENCE AND REPRESSION IN IRAN, THE MORE DESPERATE WERE THE EFFORTS OF THE REGIME TO NEUTRALIZE THE NEDA EFFECT.

( man shouting )

Narrator: FIRST, THE OFFICIAL IRANIAN NEWS AGENCY ANNOUNCED THAT NEDA AGHA SOLTAN WAS NOT DEAD, BUT ALIVE AND WELL, AND LIVING IN GREECE.

NEXT, THE AMBASSADOR OF IRAN IN MEXICO SAID IN AN INTERVIEW THAT SHE WAS SHOT BY C.I.A. AGENTS.

Are you seriously accusing the CIA of killing Neda?

( via translator ) The bullet that we found in his-- her head was not the bullet that you could find in Iran.

TWO DAYS LATER, THE IRANIAN STATE MEDIA SAID THAT SHE WAS SHOT BY THE B.B.C. CORRESPONDENT IN IRAN.

( man chanting )

( crowd repeats chant )

Hejazi: THEN THE HEAD OF THE NATIONAL TV SAID, "WE HAVE STUDIED THE VIDEO AND IT'S FAKE.

THIS THING HAS NEVER HAPPENED."

Narrator: IN THE NEXT OFFICIAL VERSION, NEDA'S DEATH DID HAPPEN, AND THE KILLER WAS NONE OTHER THAN DR. HEJAZI, WORKING FOR THE BRITISH SECRET SERVICE.

Bakhtiar: IT'S LAUGHABLE, ISN'T IT?

IT'S LAUGHABLE THAT THEY THINK THAT THEY CAN GET AWAY WITH THESE LIES.

FIRST IT WAS THE C.I.A, THEN IT WAS THIS, THEN IT WAS-- IT IS UNBELIEVABLE.

Narrator: IRAN STATE TELEVISION SURPASSED ITSELF WITH A DOCUMENTARY ON THE SUBJECT.

Reporter: How did Neda Agha Soltan really die?

Narrator: TEHRAN-BASED PRESS TV RELAYED ITS MESSAGE.

Reporter: According to the documentary...

( reporter continues speaking )

Narrator: THE REPORTER CLAIMED THAT NEDA WAS AN ACTRESS WHO SPLASHED HER OWN FACE WITH FAKE BLOOD BUT WAS MURDERED AFTERWARDS BY HER COMPANIONS.

Reporter: It says Hejazi and Neda's music teacher are members of a team that carried out the plot.

THEY BUILT UP LIES OVER LIES OVER LIES OVER LIES AND NOBODY BELIEVES THEM. THAT'S A FACT.

EVEN THEY THEMSELVES DON'T BELIEVE WHAT THEY'RE SAYING.

Narrator: INDEED. THE HARDER THEY TRY TO UNDERMINE THE NEDA EFFECT THE MORE STRONGLY HER NAME RESONATED BOTH INSIDE AND OUTSIDE IRAN.

( crowd whispering )

Narrator: PARIS, 40 DAYS AFTER NEDA'S DEATH.

IN MUSLIM TRADITION, A SPECIAL TIME OF COMMEMORATION.

EACH CANDLE REPRESENTS A LIFE TAKEN.

AND ALL ARE HONORED ON NEDA'S 40th DAY.

BUT NEDA'S OWN FAMILY WAS NOT ALLOWED TO MOURN PUBLICLY IN THE TRADITION OF HER FAITH.

ON NEDA'S 40th DAY, THE 30th OF JULY, THEY TOLD US TO STAY AT HOME.

IMAGINE THAT.

YOU'RE MADE TO STAY AT HOME ON YOUR SISTER'S MEMORIAL DAY.

THAT'S TERRIBLE.

( crowd chanting )

Narrator: IN SPITE OF GOVERNMENT WARNINGS, TENS OF THOUSANDS OF MOURNERS MADE THE 12-MILE JOURNEY FROM THE CITY TO TEHRAN'S BEHESHT-E ZAHRA CEMETERY TO HONOR NEDA AND THOSE WHO DIED IN THE SAME CAUSE, SHOUTING "OUR NEDA IS NOT DEAD!

THIS GOVERNMENT IS DEAD!"

THEY WERE MET BY ARMED POLICE AND MILITIA WHO USED TEAR GAS AGAINST THE MOURNERS.

RECENT EVENTS HAVE SHOWN HOW POWERLESS AND HOW FEARFUL THIS REGIME IS AND THAT VIOLENCE IS THE LAST THING LEFT IN ITS ARSENAL.

ANDNOREGIME IS ABLE TO SUSTAIN ITSELF JUST PURELY ON VIOLENCE. ( whistle tweets )

Narrator: BUT HOW LONG CAN THEY HOLD THE LINE?

FIVE YEARS FROM NOW, WILL AHMADINEJAD STILL BE IN POWER?

WILL THE SUPREME LEADER STILL REIGN SUPREME?

WHAT IS THE FUTURE HERE?

DID NEDA DIE IN VAIN?

Deghati: NEDA IS ALREADY THE SYMBOL OF FREEDOM.

IN THE NEW REPUBLIC OF IRAN, SHE WILL BE REMEMBERED AS BEING ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT MODELS AND HEROES OF THIS FREEDOM.

NEDA DIDN'T DIE IN VAIN, AND THEY WON'T LET HER DIE IN VAIN.

NOT HER, NOT EVERY OTHER LIFE THAT'S BEEN LOST.

THEY WILL CHANGE IRAN.

IT'S OVER. IT'S OVER.

IT'S A LONG BATTLE AHEAD, BUT IT IS THE BEGINNING OF THE END.

Narrator: THE IRANIAN POET AHMAD SHAMLOU ONCE WROTE

"OUR DIGNITY HAS BEEN BARTERED.

WE HAD ALL THE WORDS IN THE WORLD, YET WE DID NOT UTTER THE ONLY WORD THAT MATTERED-- FREEDOM."

( somber music playing )