Shaparak Khorsandi condemns killing of Iranian woman over hijab law

21 September, 2022

Pictured: Mahsa Amini

Humanists UK has expressed outrage at the police killing of an Iranian woman for allegedly breaking the county’s strict hijab rules.

Mahsa Amini, 22, fell into a coma after being beaten by police in the Iranian capital of Tehran on Friday (16 September) following her detention by Iran’s morality police for not properly wearing the Islamic headscarf, known as hijab. She later died of her wounds while in custody.

Iranian authorities say Mahsa had a ‘heart attack’ and typically labelled the criticism it has faced as ‘politically motivated’. But her family have insisted that she had no existing health problems, and pictures of her wounded in a coma have widely circulated online. Her death has prompted global condemnation and sparked widespread unrest across Iran as people have taken to the streets to protest her killing amid the authoritarian police state’s latest crackdown on women’s rights.

Humanists UK Vice President Shaparak Khorsandi said:

‘The Iranian regime kills women for trying to live freely. This is not just Iran’s problem, it is the world’s problem. Do not look away. This denial of basic human rights is an affront to human dignity. Mahsa Amini cannot speak up any more. The world should act in solidarity and amplify her voice and the voices of all Iranian women who dare to speak up for choice and democracy.’

Mahsa’s death follows Iran’s hardline president, Ebrahim Raisi, ordering a stricter enforcement of the country’s mandatory dress code, which has required all women to wear the hijab head-covering since the 1979 Islamic revolution.

Humanists UK is firmly committed to the protection and promotion of human rights and equality, as exemplified in documents such as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. These rights represent shared values rooted in our common humanity and our shared human needs, transcending particular cultural and religious traditions. This regard for human rights and the equal dignity of all human beings underpins many of its policies, including its support for freedom of religion or belief.


For further comment or information, please contact Humanists UK Press Manager Rob Pett at or 020 3675 0959.

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