Press Releases

Death of Mahsa Amini Condemning Iran Government Use of Force Peaceful Protesters

The New York City Bar Association[1] is deeply disturbed by the allegations surrounding the death of Mahsa Amini, the 22-year-old Iranian woman who, while in Iranian police custody, died unexpectedly on September 16, 2022.  Allegations have been made that Ms. Amini was beaten by the morality police, the enforcers of Iran’s dress code.[2]  Ms. Amini was allegedly taken into police custody because her head covering was too loose.

It is critically important that the Iranian Government thoroughly investigate Ms. Amini’s death and punish those individuals responsible for her death to the fullest extent of Iranian law.  The City Bar, therefore, strongly urges Iran to conduct prompt, thorough, independent, impartial and transparent investigations into Ms. Amini’s death so that justice may be served for Ms. Amini and her family.

In addition, it is critically important that the Iranian Government respect the rights of the Iranian people to peacefully protest in public spaces in response to the death of Ms. Amini. The City Bar is alarmed by human rights reports about the aggressive and violent response of the authorities against thousands of peaceful protesters across Iran, including the use of firearms and military equipment in crowded settings and the injuring and killing of hundreds of private Iranian citizens, many of whom are university students and youth.[3]  The City Bar is extremely concerned about the human rights violations committed by Iranian authorities, including the right to liberty of hundreds of lawyers, human rights defenders, journalists and other activists who reportedly have been detained, arrested and otherwise deprived of their freedom.  The City Bar calls on the Iranian authorities to ensure their safety and to provide for their immediate release.

The New York City Bar Association urges the Iranian authorities to refrain from any further lethal and disproportionate use of force against peaceful protesters exercising their legitimate rights to freedom of opinion and expression.


[1] The City Bar is grateful for the guidance of its Council on International Affairs (Mark A. Meyer, Chair) and the United Nations Committee (Dr. Sophia Murashkovsky, Ervin Nina and Catherine Van Kampen, Chairs) in the drafting of this statement.

[2] UN condemns violent crackdown against hijab protests, UN News (Sept. 27, 2022),; Statement by President Biden on the Violent Crackdown in Iran (Oct. 3, 2022),; World must take meaningful action against bloody crackdown as death toll rises, Amnesty International (Sept. 23, 2022),; Iranian schoolgirl ‘beaten to death for refusing to sing’ pro-regime anthem, The Guardian (Oct. 18, 2022),

[3] Id.