Suicide in Iraq .. Shocking figures revealed 'for the first time'
Shafaq News / The number of suicide cases in Iraq during the past seven years was disclosed for the first time by the interior ministry.
According to the facts that were made public, this phenomenon has been steadily increasing for three main reasons: psychological, economic, and social.
Maj. Gen. Khaled al-Mahanna, the Interior Ministry's spokesman, stated that "the figures of suicides from 2015 to 2022, are revealed for the first time. Shockingly enough, in 2015 alone, the number of suicides across Iraq, save for the Kurdistan Region, reached 376 incidents."
"In 2016, there were 343 suicide cases, 449 in 2017, 519 in 2018, 588 in 2019, 644 in 2020, 863 in 2021, and in 2022 it amounted to 1073 suicides."
According to al-Mahanna, suicide cases are on the rise due to "population growth, economic situation, unemployment, domestic abuse, cybercrime, as well as extortion, which has a direct impact on this issue."
Human rights activist Sarah Jassim agreed with the abovementioned reasons, explaining that "women are more limited and restricted in accessing protection services or humanitarian assistance, which increases their risk of abuse. This is an obstacle for survivors in their recovery and reintegration into society."
She added during her interview with Shafaq News Agency, "Female survivors find themselves trapped between many types of harm and abuse of all kinds, without an exit that leads to safety. Therefore, they conclude that the only way out is to end their lives."
Moreover, psychiatric references indicate that 90% of suicides suffer from mental illness. According to psychologist Dr. Batoul Issa, "70% of suicides suffer from depression, 15% are addicts, i.e., under the influence of drugs, and 5% have other mental disorders."
Issa explained that "the mentally ill have confused and illogical sentiments, and their decisions, feelings, and behaviors are incorrect. As for the remaining 10%, they are the ones that choose to end their lives voluntarily."
In addition, Sheikh Marwan al-Obaidi, executive director of the Supreme Council of Sufism in Iraq, affirmed that "Iraq has a concerning suicide rate. It needs to be identified, and urgent action must be taken to rectify it."
Meanwhile, social researcher Zina al-Sabbagh cautioned, "In reality, many suicides are murders. In order to deny them an inheritance, many families kill their daughters in a manner that seems to be suicide."
She added to Shafaq News Agency, "Others kill women under the pretext of 'honor crimes', and even boast about it without providing any evidence, under legislation that lessens the sentence for such crimes. In addition to incest, that women are victims of, as they are punished and killed for that rather than providing assistance and treatment to them and punishing the offender."