At least 22 Iranian Kurds, including eight children, died from suicide in November, mostly due to poverty or family problems, according to a report by the Hengaw Organization.
The dead include nine men, five women, five girls, and three boys. Eight of the total died in West Azarbaijan, six in Kurdistan, five in Ilam, and three in Kermanshah.
In October, a 32-year-old mine worker—Saber Behboudi—died from suicide after setting himself on fire outside a sand mine company in Rudbar in protest to losing his job and sustaining burns on 90% of his body.
While several children died from suicide due to poverty, which put undue pressure on them. This includes 11-year-old Mohammad Moussavizadeh from Dayyer, southwestern Iran, who was unable to participate in online classes because his family could not afford the necessary equipment due to medical bills for his sick father and disabled brother.
His mother said that the principal promised to provide the equipment to Mohammad and two other impoverished students, but that this was not honored.
She said that she went shopping and found his lifeless body when she came back. “His grief caused him to kill himself,” she said. Heartbreaking, on December 1, locals found the body of Mohammad’s seven-year-old brother Ali-Asghar on the coast of Dayyer port.
Meanwhile, a 12-year-old from Abadan died from suicide after his mother sold the phone that he needed to continue his education, as well as his bike, in order to pay the rent. In early October, 10-year-old Morteza died from suicide because of poverty.
“It would seem as though the suicide rate is increasing in the country and according to published figures, they are carried out mostly by people between 15-35 years of age but this year, we have witnessed the suicides of children under 15 years of age which is unfortunate,” said Mohammad Mehdi Tondgouyan, the Deputy Minister of Sport and Youth.
Rising poverty, caused by high prices and a deteriorating economy, has led to an increase in deaths from suicide in all age groups.
Some 60 million Iranians – three-quarters of the country – are living below the poverty line because of the regime’s mismanagement, which has tanked the economy, according to Iranian economist Ibrahim Razaghi in September.
“The most important threat to Iran was extreme poverty, widespread unemployment, the inability of many people to pay their rent, and that the rich were getting richer. There are currently 30 million unemployed people and 60 million people live below the poverty line,” Tabnak website wrote.
Many Iranians are unable to afford even basic foods and have resorted to buying bones instead of meat to flavor their soups or to eat the bone marrow.
Even state-run media reports that some 20 million Iranians—20 percent of the country’s urban population—live in 3,000 slums.