US senators call for UN probe into secret Iranian torture centers



A committee of US senators has called on the United Nations to investigate a network of secret torture centers in Iran revealed by a CNN survey last month.

The US Senate Foreign Relations Committee said the CNN report — which revealed a series of clandestine detention centers used by the Iranian regime to force protesters into submission — showed Iran was willing to torture its own people to quell the unrest. to press.

“The discovery of these secret prisons is the latest example of the brutality of the Iranian regime. The international community must hold Tehran responsible for torturing its own citizens,” one said tweet posted by the official account of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, with a link to the CNN report. It said the revelations should be investigated by the United Nations Human Rights Council fact-finding mission on Iran.

A CNN special report reveals dozens of “black sites” used to torture protesters

In November, the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) launched an independent inquiry into Iran’s crackdown to a nationwide uprising that erupted in September after the death in detention of 22-year-old Kurdish-Iranian woman Mahsa Amini. The mission will collect evidence of abuses in the suppression of the protests.

The findings of an investigation by a UNHRC-established Commission of Inquiry into Syria were used last year in the prosecution of a Syrian former colonel in Germany for crimes against humanity.

In late February, CNN’s International Investigation Unit published an investigation into secret detention centers used by the Iranian regime, identifying more than three dozen clandestine prisons or black sites, many of which were undeclared and operated within the government or the Iranian Revolutionary Guard (IRGC). ) Services.

Iranian protesters take to the streets of Tehran during a protest in front of Mahsa Amini on September 21, 2022.

Based on about two dozen testimonials from Iranian lawyers and survivors of the black sites, CNN found that the use of the black sites — which exist outside of Iran’s due process — was unprecedented.

Among the most severe forms of torture described in those testimonies are electrocutions, nail removal, whipping and beatings that resulted in scars and broken limbs, and sexual assault.

The findings paint a picture of a regime that is torturing on an industrial scale to put down an insurgency that poses the biggest domestic threat to the clerical elite in decades.

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