In Iraq, 2197 suicide cases were recorded in the last four years. In 2020 alone, 386 incidences of males and 276 of females having commited suicide entered the records. However, unsolved murder cases are also passing into the records as ‘suicide’.
Bushra al-Ubeydi, a former member of the Iraqi High Commission for Human Rights and a women’s activist, says that the most important factors behind suicides of girls are domestic violence and social pressures. She draws attention to murders of women being passed off as suicide.
”In November, suicide rates, especially among girls, were exceptionally high. Some cases have been kept secret and data are not available for all suicides. For this reason, some murders are believed to have been passed off as suicides,” she says.
Domestic violence, suicides and murders have become widespread in the country due to problems related to war, economic, psychological, social issues, and international sanctions. Sejad Juma, an official of the Kirkuk Branch of the Iraqi High Commission for Human Rights, states that they have suggested cooperating with the government and related institutions to try to prevent suicides.
Sociology professor Ala Saffar spoke to JINHA and commented that most of the time the causes, and in many cases the whole of the reports drawn up regarding the suicides were unconvincing or vague.
“There is an ambiguity cloaking cases of women killed by hanging or burning, particularly in the tribal community,” he says. “Pressures on health and security officials for a rapid burial prevent a thorough forensic medical examination of the deceased in these cases.”
In Iraq, at least 662 suicides were recorded in 2020, 590 in 2019, 519 in 2018 and 422 in 2017. A large proportion of these were females.