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Iran Creating Fiction About Postelection Unrest, Neda's Death

By Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE/RL

Iran has reportedly started producing a movie about the postelection events in which a well-known Iranian actress plays the role of Neda Agha Soltan, who was killed during last year's protests over the reelection of President Mahmud Ahmadinejad.

An opposition supporter holds a picture of Neda Agha Soltan at an anti-government demonstration in 2009.

The "Café Cinema" website reports that the movie, titled "Thesis," is about a university professor who is involved in "espionage activities and contact with foreigners" and four students who are writing their thesis with him. The thesis, the website says, turns into an excuse for the students to enter the world of politics.

According to "Cafe Cinema," actress Leyla Otadi plays the role of Neda Agha Soltan in the movie, which is being directed by Hamed Kolahdari. 

Kolahdari is quoted as saying that "Thesis" will be a positive achievement for both the people of Iran and the country's establishment.

Iran has already produced two documentaries about the death of Neda Agha Soltan. In the first, Neda is portrayed as a foreign agent who staged her own death. 

The second, which that was aired on the anniversary of the 2009 election, suggested that an Iranian opposition group based outside the country was behind the murder of Neda.

Neda became one of the symbol's of the Green opposition movement after an amateur video of her last moments was posted on YouTube and watched by millions around the world. 

Neda's mother, Hajar Rostami, told "The Guardian" in June: "Although Neda has been murdered and is dead, they are still afraid of her, they come to the graveyard and want to kill her again. She's dead but her memory is getting brighter and brighter every day." 

Rights groups have called on Iran to allow an independent investigation into the killing of Neda and other deaths and human rights abuses that took place during the postelection unrest. Authorities have ignored the calls. 

(Hat tip to blogger Amin Sabeti for the link)

Copyright (c) 2010 RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.

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