The IRCT is deeply concerned with the escalating human rights crisis in Iran where credible reports indicate that protesters are indiscriminately beaten, arbitrarily arrested, systematically tortured, and killed in detention by Iranian security forces, while some are charged with offences carrying the death penalty. The IRCT has also received credible reports that the crackdown on the Kurdish minority is particularly harsh and escalating.
For decades, IRCT members have been supporting Iranian refugees who experienced brutal torture by authorities in Iran to rebuild their lives. We know from their harrowing stories that the crime of torture is nothing new, but rather has long been a central tool for the regime’s oppression of any dissent. However, the current situation is unprecedented in recent history in the scale of violations and the level of violence used against anyone exercising their human right to protest against the government. The IRCT therefore calls on the Iranian authorities to immediately cease its violations of the internationally recognised absolute prohibition against torture and other ill-treatment, and to allow independent monitors to investigate events.
Today, the UN Human Rights Council will hold a special session on the escalating human rights crisis in Iran. The IRCT calls on the Human Rights Council to urgently establish a fact-finding mission to investigate and document all human rights violations related to the current protests with a specific focus on establishing the harm and damage created to individual victims, their families and communities.
As the global leader in torture documentation and rehabilitation, the IRCT’s 163 member centres and associated networks of forensic experts and researchers have for decades evidenced the widespread and highly negative society-wide impacts of torture, and the subsequent need for reparations programmes and transitional justice processes to be as full and inclusive as possible.
“Mass torture creates open wounds in society that do not heal by themselves,” said Asger Kjaerum, Advocacy Director of IRCT. “If and when Iran gets a government that is willing to protect and promote the human rights of its people, it will be necessary to have comprehensive information on the impact of torture and other human rights violations on victims, families and communities because that is what will allow for the establishment of an effective reparations programme that can help the country to heal.”
Iran has denied access to successive UN Special Rapporteurs on Human Rights, claiming the process is political and unnecessary. In the absence of physical access to Iran for international experts, the ability to document allegations of torture remotely will be increasingly important. The IRCT and our global network of torture rehabilitation centres stand ready to support this work with our world leading expertise in documentation of torture.
For enquiries contact Hugh Macleod, IRCT Communications on HML@IRCT.ORG
 See for example https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2022/11/iran-chilling-use-of-the-death-penalty-to-further-brutally-quell-popular-uprising/ and https://www.hrw.org/news/2022/11/03/iran-thousands-detained-protesters-and-activists-peril and https://www.ohchr.org/en/press-briefing-notes/2022/11/iran-critical-situation