YouTube Iranian Videos News-Watch | Online TV’s Effect on Future of Iran Election So Far

1 min read

You surely cannot have missed what is currently happening in Iran. Coverage of the disputed presidential election and the protests that have followed has been everywhere. But most of all, it’s been available via the increasingly important medium of online video.

The Back Story

The 2009 Iranian presidential elections were held on June 12, 2009. The result, that sitting president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad won the election with 66 percent of the public vote, was duly announced and then immediately disputed by the opposition, ordinary voters, and other countries.

Mir-Hossein Mousavi, the man who nabbed 33 percent of the vote, called for peaceful protests to take place, and these began in Tehran shortly after. Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei first urged the nation to back the president, before denouncing the demonstrations as illegal.

Protests still happened over the weekend, but the Ayatollah’s declaration coincided with a much stronger use of force against the protesters. On Saturday, there were reported to have been ten deaths, all of protesters having been shot by pro-government security forces. Among them was a young lady named Neda Agha Soltai.

Neda Agha Soltani

What made Neda’s death key was the fact it was captured on camera and then broadcast around the world on YouTube, LiveLeak, and other online video sites. The footage is graphic, showing a woman cut down in the prime of her life and dying on the street. Her only crime was to have attended a protest calling for a rerun of the election in order to ensure a fair result.

Some of the facts aren’t yet clear. Neda’s age is either 16 or 27 depending on which report you read. The older man with her at the protest, and heard screaming in the video, is either her father or her teacher. But despite this confusion over the details of her death, the visual evidence doesn’t lie, and the footage of Neda being shot dead is important in revealing the truth of what is currently happening in Iran.

Interestingly, the videos are not being taken down off YouTube, despite their violent and graphic nature. Which means even Google realizes how important they could be for the future of Iran and what we in the outside world think about the events unfolding.


In the same way the photos and video footage sneaked out of China during the Tiananmen Square Massacre brought the attention of the world to the Chinese protests, these clips will mean Iran, its government, and the security forces have to answer to the rest of the world. But while the protests in China were covered by traditional television networks, it’s a network of citizen journalists doing the ground work in Iran.

With the ease of capturing footage either by a video camera or a cellphone and then uploading it to one of the many video-sharing sites on the Internet, there’s no hiding place for government-sponsored atrocities such as this one. If they happen, we’ll all know about it within hours. Which is both powerful and a little bit scary.