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Jordan criminalises suicide, threatens prison terms and fines

Jordan is to criminalise suicide and any attempts to commit it in a public place, with the threat of penalties such as prison terms and fines.

The draft law was approved by Jordan's House of Representatives yesterday, ruling that "Whoever attempts to commit suicide in a public place by committing any of the actions that usually lead to death shall be punished by imprisonment for a period not exceeding six months and a fine not exceeding 100 [Jordanian] dinars [$141], or by one of these two penalties."

The House also announced that the penalty will be doubled if it was a mass suicide, in which numerous people are involved in an attempt to commit suicide simultaneously.

READ: Jordanian attempts to commit suicide in parliament

Jordan's amendment of the penal code comes only months after protestors threatened to commit mass suicide in public over the widespread unemployment in the country, with themselves being unable to secure jobs despite being university graduates.

Suicides in the country have increased significantly over the past few years, reportedly due to declining economic and political conditions. Last year, suicides were reported to have reached the point where one person ended their life every two days.

Following the House of Representatives' approval of the draft law, some Jordanians took to social media, such as Twitter, to criticise the decision, pointing out that it only criminalises the act and people who attempt it, rather than addressing the root causes of suicide.

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