Jun 01, 2018

Iranian Kurdistan: Suicide Rates on the Rise

Three people have committed suicide in Iranian Kurdistan this past week, highlighting a growing crisis in a region plagued by a poor economy and severe unemployment.  During the last year there were 60 suicide attempts in the region and more than 6,000 people are currently under suicide watch in the Kurdistan province.  This situation is due largely to the fact that the Kurdish provinces have some of the highest unemployment rates in all of Iran, heightened by the recent closure of the border between Kurdish Iran and Iraq.   


The article below was published by Rudaw:

Amid increased economic hardship and unemployment, several people have committed suicide in Iranian Kurdistan this week, 27 May – 1 June, 2018. In Kurdistan Province alone, more than 6,000 people are under suicide watch.

Two sisters in Mariwan committed suicide together on Thursday, 31 May 2018, according to Hengaw Organization for Human Rights. They were Amina Saidi, age 30, and Farida Saidi, age 35. They were poor and sold mountain vegetables.

"In Bijar, 544 individuals have been identified as being in need of suicide watch. While in the whole Kurdistan Province 6,113, are under suicide watch," Hussein Jafari, the head of healthcare there, told HRANA, a human rights agency activist news agency.

In the last year, there have been 60 suicide attempts including 39 men and 21 women, according to Jafari, and four of the attempts resulted in death.On Wednesday 30 May 2018, a Kurdish soldier from Piranshahr in West Azerbaijan province, committed suicide by shooting himself in the head.

Kurdish provinces are among the poorest provinces in Iran with high rate of unemployment. Bahram Nasrolahizadeh, the planning and budget head in Kurdistan Province told Tasnim News agency in January that the unemployment rate in Kurdistan province is 16.3 percent — the third highest among all provinces.

Kurdpa, a Kurdish human rights news agency, reported that the provinces of Kurdistan, Ilam, Kermanshah, and Lorestan had the highest suicide last year across Iran.

Seven unofficial border crossings between the Kurdistan Region of Iraq and the Kurdish provinces in Iran were closed in early May 2018. Their closures have affected the local economies, with rights organizations sounding alarms over the rising number of porters’ deaths.  The US withdrawing from the Iran nuclear deal and subsequent economic sanctions has forced large multinational corporations to choose to cease business in Iran. 

Photo courtesy of Creative Commons