Iranian Activist Dies In Custody At Urmia Detention Center, The Second In Two Days

Human rights activists say Peyman Golvani, a Kurdish political activist, has died while in custody at the Intelligence Detention Center at the northwestern Iranian city of Urmia, where another political prisoner, Mousa Esmaili, died less than 24 hours earlier.

The human rights group Hengaw said Golvani died on July 9 after being transferred from the detention center to the Khomeini Hospital in Urmia.

Golvani was arrested on June 25 when security forces apprehended him at his home in Mahabad. Despite his family's attempts to ascertain the reasons for his arrest and possible charges, officials have not commented. The Kurdpa news agency reported that Golvani had joined a Kurdish opposition party.

Hengaw quoted sources as saying Golvani was admitted to the hospital in a coma from what security forces said was a "fall from height." But Golvani's sister, the only relative who was able to gain access to see the activist, told the group her brother had extensive bruising on his body, face, and head, raising speculation that he had been tortured.

The announcement of Golvani's death comes a day after human rights activists reported the death of Esmaili, a Kurdish political prisoner from Piranshahr, at the same detention center, which has long faced allegations of torture and inhumane treatment of its prisoners.

Esmaili, 35, was arrested on May 7 after intelligence agents confiscated his car. Rights groups say he was held for 62 days "without explanation."

Hengaw says a source close to Ismaili's family told it security officers said Esmaili "has been executed without presenting any justification or documentation connected to going through any legal process and trial."

Written by Ardeshir Tayebi based on an original story in Persian by RFE/RL's Radio Farda