The Human Rights Watch group says it has obtained evidence that "secret squads" working for the Iranian judiciary have used torture to force detained internet journalists and civil society activists to write self-incriminatory "confession letters." The New York-based group said its evidence shows that the interrogators were primarily former intelligence officers who were purged in the late 1990s by President Mohammed Khatami. It says the officers now work for the Iranian judiciary. The Human Rights Watch report says the squads forced the detainees to write the letters under extreme pressure as a condition for their release on bail. It says the letters describe detention conditions as satisfactory, and confess that civil society organizations are part of an "evil project" directed by foreigners and counter-revolutionaries. The group says detainees have later retracted their statements. No comment on the allegations was immediately available from the Iranian government.