Iran’s police chief, General Ismail Ahmadi Moghaddam, has admitted that police tortured protesters arrested during demonstrations over the country’s disputed June election. But he denied claims that three of the prisoners died as a result of injuries sustained during their interrogations, saying they were killed by an unspecified “viral illness.” Kahrizak detention centre, where the tortured demonstrators were held, was shut down last month by Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. The former head of the prison and three policemen accused of beating detainees have also been jailed. Moggadam’s confession will bring increased pressure to Iran’s governing regime, which has been criticized for its heavy-handed response to June’s protests and what many citizens are calling the “show trial” of 100 demonstrators. The proceedings have also been condemned by the British and French governments.