The Washington Post makes a bold suggestion to the Nobel Committee: choose Neda.
The Nobel Committee’s decision is especially puzzling given that a better alternative was readily apparent. This year, hundreds of thousands of ordinary people in Iran braved ferocious official violence to demand their right to vote and to speak freely. Dozens were killed, thousands imprisoned. One of those killed was a young woman named Neda Agha-Soltan; her shooting by thugs working for the Islamist theocracy, captured on video, moved the world. A posthumous award for Neda, as the avatar of a democratic movement in Iran, would have recognized the sacrifices that movement has made and encouraged its struggle in a dark hour. Democracy in Iran would not only set a people free, it would also dramatically improve the chances for world peace, since the regime that murdered her is pursuing nuclear weapons in defiance of the international community.
In addition to serving as inspiration for the democratic revolution in Iran, Neda now serves as a symbol of hope for those hundreds of protestors languishing in jails (where there are reports of torture and rape). The Iranian government recently sentenced three of those protestors to death. More death sentences are sure to follow. Peace Prize or not, Neda will continue to inspire.