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Last Updated: Tuesday, 24 June, 2003, 19:03 GMT 20:03 UK
Mother's tribute to fire protest victim
Neda Hassani
Neda Hassani set herself on fire on Wednesday
The mother of an Iranian woman who died after setting herself on fire in a political protest in London has paid tribute to her daughter.

Froog Hassani said she was proud of her daughter Neda, 25, but urged others not to do the same.

Ms Hassani never regained consciousness after setting herself alight outside the French Embassy in Knightsbridge last Wednesday.

She died on Monday at the Chelsea and Westminster Hospital.

She was one of scores of demonstrators who gathered in protest at France's crackdown on the Iranian dissident group, the People's Mujahideen in Paris.

Among those arrested was Maryam Rajavi, the president-elect of the group.

Heshmat Zandi
Heshmat Zandi doused himself with petrol outside the embassy
Mrs Hassani flew from the family home in Canada to be at her daughter's bedside after her protest.

She and her husband Ahmed joined about 40 supporters outside the embassy on Tuesday.

She described her daughter as happy, full of life, and a brilliant student.

"I am proud, God knows how much I am proud of her - the words can't describe," she said.

Ms Hassani was one of four people to set themselves alight outside the embassy last week, leading police to appeal for calm.

When asked if others should follow her daughter's example she said: "I hope not, I hope not.

"I strongly believe people can talk, people have consciences and they listen."

Protesters laid white and red roses at the embassy doorstep as a mark of respect for Ms Hassani on Tuesday.

She was the second person to die in the current wave of protests. Sedighieh Mohageri died after setting herself on fire outside the French internal security agency.

Ali Safavi, a spokesman for the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), the political front of the People's Mujahideen, told the AFP news agency two of the London protesters were in a "serious" condition, and one was in hospital but was not in a life-threatening condition.

Appeal over fire protests
21 Jun 03  |  London
Fourth person in fire protest
20 Jun 03  |  London
Second protest of fire
18 Jun 03  |  London
Protester sets himself on fire
17 Jun 03  |  London

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