These days, suicide, particularly among children, teenagers, and women, has been general news in Iran. In the past month, at least eight children and teenagers committed suicide in various cities.
January 25—one 16-year-old boy jumped from the sixth floor of a building and lost his life in Tabriz city in Eastern Azarbaijan province, northwestern Iran. Two female students also ate Aluminium phosphide tablets and lost their lives in Dezful city in Khuzestan province, southwestern the country.
January 26—the semiofficial ISNA news agency quoted Mohammad Hamidi, the Governor of Gorgan in the northern province of Golestan, as saying, “Two young girls attempted to commit suicide by jumping off a passenger bridge. Both of them have been severely injured and transferred to a hospital.”
January 31—fourteen-year-old child laborer Mohammad committed suicide due to poverty and lost his life in Mahshahr city, Khuzestan province.
February 2—eleven-year-old Moslem Shahkaram Zehi hanged himself and ended his life in Ziarat village, a suburb of Saravan district in Iran’s southeastern province Sistan and Baluchestan.
February 5—a 16-year-old teenager committed suicide by shooting himself in the head in Deymoushak district in Kohgiluyeh and Boyer Ahmad province.
February 8—according to Deymoushak’s local officials, “Committing suicide in this area has become a regular event,” which shows parts of the horrific situation in this area. “In the past three-four years, around 60 persons, mostly women, committed suicide. In the past month, two men and one 11-year-old girl have committed suicide, and all of them lost their lives, unfortunately. The name of the 11-year-old girl was Bina. She hanged herself on February 8 in Deh-Qazi village in Deymoushak,” the semiofficial ILNA news agency reported on February 14.
February 12—a 17-year-old teenager hanged himself in Bandar-e Jask in the southern province of Hormozgan.
February 14—a 14-year-old child hanged himself and died in Bandar-e Kangan, Hormozgan province.
These are just some examples of children’s suicide in Iran in the past month. They decided to end their short lives due to poverty, unemployment, dire living conditions, and misery amidst the coronavirus outbreak.
According to government statistics, child laborers, dropouts, children of education, and girls, who were compelled to marry, are among those who committed suicide. “Currently, the poverty and economic impasses have convinced the people and even children that death is easier than remaining alive in such quagmire of poverty and misery,” Jahan-e Sanat daily wrote on February 3 following the suicide of Moslem Shahkaram Zehi.
Previously, an official of the Forensic Organization announced that the suicide rate from March 20 to October 20 has increased by 4.2 percent compared to the same period in the last year, according to Etemad daily on January 20. The official also acknowledged that many families conceal this news, fearing losing their reputation.
The daily also mentioned growing socioeconomic phenomena like high prices, unemployment, and poverty had brought thousands of desperate individuals into grave financial challenges. “According to psychologists, to grasp the intensity of uncured depressions in Iran’s society, we should increase the pure number of suicide victims by at least 20-30 times to realize the raw figure of suicide attempts,” Etemad added.
In addition to economic pressure, Iranian youths witness social injustice and the expanding gap between society’s classes, as well as rampant corruption and plundering every day. Instead, they see that not only do officials not resolve their dilemmas but also suppress any protest with violence. In such circumstances, they prefer to die rather than acquiesce to more humiliation and hardship.
However, this phenomenon has sounded the alarm bells for the authorities, declaring that the people have nothing to lose. It shows that society awaits an opportunity to vent its anger over four decades of imprudence, corruption, massacre, and suppression.