Kirkuk: Detainee with special needs self-immolates following release

One of the main streets of Kirkuk Northern Province in 2021. KirkukNow

By Laila Ahmed

A man with special needs in Kirkuk committed suicide by self-immolation just hours after he was released from prison following a complaint filed by his father.

The incident occurred on December 1, 2022 at the house of the victim in Quriya neighborhood of northern, oil-rich city of Kirkuk.

"The 41-year-old man had social problems with his family and some say he had a mental illness, which led him to commit suicide," Lieutenant Amer Shiwani, Kirkuk police spokesman told KirkukNow.

"He has been in prison for several months. His father compromised the case on Thursday and released him, but as soon as he returned home, he set himself on fire and burned himself," Shiwani aded.

The man has been in prison for several months on a complaint by his father

The father had filed a complaint against his son for burning belongings in their house, police said.

"He had not yet completed his two-month sentence in prison... he died inside his house due to the effects of the burns," said Kirkuk police spokesman.

"Investigations into the incident are continuing, but no one has been arrested yet.”

The man who "burned himself" was, single and lived at his parents.

Most of the cases of self-immolation are females while men resort to self-shooting by pistols, statistics show.

According to statistics by department of women and children protection of Kirkuk police, over 200 cases of domestic and intra family violence has been registered since February 2020, the outbreak of Covid-19 pandemic in Iraq. Out of 65 cases of suicide in 2020, 50 casualties were women, registered by Kirkuk office of the high commission for human rights in Iraq.

The Iraqi government proposed a draft law to the parliament to counter domestic violence in order to limit the social phenomenon which has sharply spiked following Corona virus outbreak all over the world.

In January 2021, a young man blazed two of his sisters in Rahimawa predominantly Kurdish neighborhood of Kirkuk. He was arrested and the case transferred to court.

Non-governmental organizations NGOs advocating for women rights said that suicide, murder and physical abuse of women escalated in March and April 2020 due to the lockdown followed Covid-19 pandemic and unemployment of men, forcibly spending most of the time at home.

The United Nations UN in Iraq said in a statement last April it was concerned about the spike of the cases of social violence such as abuse by husband, setting wives on fire, women self-immolation, self-injury, sexual abuse against teenagers and women suicide.

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