Three young women, 13, 17 and 28, had to commit suicide, two of them fatally, to escape forced marriage.
On June 19, 2020 in Kermanshah, Shirin Kamari, 17, resorted to suicide under her family’s pressure to get married with someone they had chosen. She shot herself and took her own life. Kermanshah is the capital of Kermanshah Province, western Iran.
In another incident reported on June 20, Shelar Barzanji, 28, set herself on fire to end her life. Shelar lived in a village near Urmia, capital of West Azerbaijan Province. She had been forced to marry a man she did not love.
Both incidents of suicide were reported by the state-run ROKNA news agency on June 20, 2020. ROKNA also reported an unsuccessful suicide attempt by a 13-year-old girl who wanted to escape forced marriage.
The victim, Zohreh, lived with her mother and sister in Jafarabad village in Kerman Province, southern Iran. She lost her father nine years ago. Zohreh does not want to get married. She wants to continue her education.
But she is being constantly pressured by her uncles to marry her cousin. Her uncles have brutalized Zohreh to force her into marriage. So, one day, she could no longer take the pressure and took Aluminum Phosphide tablets, commonly known as rice pills, to commit suicide and end her life. Fortunately, her mother found out and took her to Emergency where they saved Zohreh’s life. Nevertheless, Zohreh’s uncles continue their pressures to force her into marriage.
Over 5,000 suicides in Iran in 2019 included 1,517 women
In a press briefing on June 21, 2020, a Coroner’s Office official said 5,143 people committed suicides in Iran during the period spanning from March 2019 to March 2020.
Massoud Ghadi Pasha said the statistic showed 8 per cent increase compared to the same period in the previous year.
Ghadi Pasha, the medical and laboratory deputy to the National Coroner’s Office, also pointed out, “1,517 women were among these people.”
He acknowledged that suicides in Iran have been on a rising trend in the past 10 years, which should sound the alarm bells for officials in charge of cultural affairs.
According to the figures announced by the National Coroner’s Office, Kermanshah, Ilam, and Kohgiluyeh and Boyer Ahmad are three provinces with the highest number of suicides.