Suicide is surging in Ahwaz amid rampant poverty

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11 Aug 2018

The cause of poverty in Iran cannot be seen as only an economic issue. There is also a legal one since the distribution of income and opportunity is related to the legal system and the practice of the state in this regard. The discriminatory practice when it comes to sharing the country’s wealth among different ethnics in Iran aggravates poverty and causes widespread marginalisation particularly in Ahwaz. According to the contemporary international law, Iran is obligated to prevent the poverty gap among all citizens and to reduce the negative impacts of poverty on the population especially those who are physically and mentally vulnerable in society. [1]

According to Reza Rafiee, the Director of Accident and Emergency Department in Ahwaz, suicide rate in the province has increased. At least six individuals commit suicide each week. Recently, a 20-year-old man set himself on fire in al-Sekka district in Ahwaz. This young man who suffered 100 percent burns was immediately moved to hospital but died few hours later. Two days earlier, a 43-year-old man hanged himself and died in the city of Talal Alsabe in Ahwaz region. In addition, a week before the previous incident, a 12-year-old boy took his life by hanging himself after his mother sold his bike and mobile phone to pay for the house rent that was not paid yet. [2]

Poverty is one of the root causes of suicide in Iran. Official reports indicate that suicide rates are mounting dramatically particularly in Ahwaz region, even among school students. It is worth noting that Ahwaz is rich in terms of oil resources and considered as a mainstay for Iranian economy. But poverty in this province is also reported to be abject. Unemployment rate in some cities in Ahwaz region have been reported as over 50 percent. [3]

References

[1] Lucy Williams, A Kjönstad and Peter Robson (eds) Law and poverty: the legal system and poverty reduction (CROP, 2003).

[2] Salamat News, ‘5 to 6 suicide in Khuzestan each week’ (6 August 2018) <http://www.salamatnews.com/news/250453/هفته%E2%80%8Cای%E2%80%8C-5-تا-6-خودکشیدرخوزستان> accessed 10 August 2018.

[3] Radio Zamaneh, ‘Each week at least 5 to 6 individual commit suicide in Khuzestan’ (6 August 2018) <https://www.radiozamaneh.com/406503> accessed 10 August 2018.

By Abdulrahman Hetteh

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