Video footage is circulating online of an Egyptian student who threw himself from the top of Cairo Tower over the weekend.
Nader Mohamed, 20, was an engineering student at Helwan University reportedly going through a psychological crisis. Nader had informed a friend that he intended to commit suicide.
In a widely shared post on Twitter Nader said he decided to kill himself after five years of study because university took away his soul, his life, his mind.
According to the Egyptian Coordination for Rights and Freedoms, more than 150 25-30-year-olds have committed suicide in the last eight months, several by jumping in front of trains.
Authorities have been criticised for their response to suicides – last year metro spokesman Ahmed Abdul Hady said: “The metro is not a suicide destination… the stations are not the place for psychologically disturbed people because they disrupt the lives of millions of citizens.”
Suicide and mental health public services are underfunded, professionals don’t have adequate training and social stigma prevents people seeking help.
Suicide rates in Egypt have shot up in the last two years as the cost of living and the unemployment rate have skyrocketed. In August the Egyptian National Centre for Criminal and Social Studies found that 25 per cent of Egyptians suffer from mental illness due to the high rate of poverty, which pushed 60 per cent of these to consider suicide.
In July Egypt’s auditing agency reported that the poverty rate in the country hit 32.5 per cent in the year 2017-2018 after the World Bank released a report in May to say some 60 per cent of the population are either poor or vulnerable.
Under the conditions of a 2016 IMF loan the government has rolled our austerity measures which have particular hit fuel and electricity prices causing them to rise. These have not been offset by an increase in salaries.
After Egypt floated the Egyptian pound inflation hit 33 per cent.
In 2015 visitors were banned from visiting the 187-metre tower in a new policy designed to cut the number of suicides taking place there.
A number of social media users have complained about the leaked footage and are calling for it to be retracted.