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Syria: Suicide rate rises in 2020

November 3, 2020 at 9:40 am

A Syrian kid walks over a muddy road between tents at a refugee camp in Idlib, Syria on 9 January 2017 [Abdulghani Arian/Anadolu Agency]

The number of Syrians committing suicide significantly increased in 2020; both in areas controlled by the regime and the opposition, Arabic Post news site reported.

The site quoted reports from human rights organisations, relief groups and government bodies which all attribute the increase in suicides to the difficult living conditions, increasing mental illnesses as well as social problems.

A human rights activist in the opposition-held northwestern province of Idlib, Muayyad Al-Hussein, said as many as 18 suicides and 18 attempted suicides were recorded in Idlib and border camps since the beginning of the year until November.

Al-Hussein explained that a majority of the cases were caused by breakdowns, family violence; mainly gender-based violence or abusive marital relations which led women to end their lives.

A relief worker in Idlib, Bakar Hamidi, said humanitarian and medical organisations should raise the people’s awareness regarding mental illnesses that ultimately lead to suicide, adding that job opportunities must be made available for young people and breadwinners to enable them to provide for their families.

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As many as 132 cases of suicide had been reported in the regime areas since the beginning of the year until November, a medical staffer in the regime held capital, Damascus, said. Speaking on condition of anonymity, he added that in 82 cases the bodies of the deceased were found hanged, while shooting, poisoning and jumping to one’s death were the next most common means of suicide in the area.

Aleppo recorded the highest number of suicides in 2020 with 33 cases, eight of them females, followed by Damascus with 27.