More than 60 cases of suicide have been recorded in the first eight months of 2019 in Kirkuk, according to the Iraqi commission for human rights which described the figures as “scary and shocking”.
The most recent incident occurred on Friday, September 4, when a 20-year-old man shot himself and died later at the hospital.
Human rights commission officials say they believe unemployment, depression and consequences of some traditional practices, including early marriage are major reasons behind the rise in suicide cases.
“According to statistics gathered by the commission, 9 suicide cases were recorded in the past two months in Kirkuk, bringing the total number to 60,” said Sajad Jum’a, head of the commission’s Kirkuk office.
He added that no accurate statistics on suicide cases are available, indicating that “there are some cases which remain ambiguous and should be settled in court.”
Unemployment, depression and early marriage are major reasons behind the rise in suicide cases
A March 2019 report released by the Iraqi commission for human rights revealed that Kirkuk province comes third in the number of suicide cases following Karbala and Basra.
Sajad Jum’a noted that their office has formed a network, in coordination with the health and education departments, which works to reduce such incidents through organizing seminars and awareness raising programs.
“Female suicide rates were the highest, mostly due to poverty, unemployment and mental disorders,” said Jum’a adding that the government does not have a plan to face the issue.”
Overall, suicide cases have been on the rise in Iraq in recent months. The Iraqi Commission for Human Rights in its latest meeting has discussed ways to tackle the issue.
A statement released by the commission on May, 23, 2019 indicated that 149 cases of suicide have been recorded during the first five months of 2019.
Overall, 319 were reported in 2018, while the number stood at only 185 cases the previous year, according to the commission’s figures.