Jordan plans to jail people who attempt suicide
Individuals who attempt suicide in Jordan will face prison and fines under a new draft law approved on Monday, Jordan's Roya News reported on Tuesday.
Medical professionals and activists criticised the proposed law, calling it "cruel", while some noted that the decision shows that mental health awareness was "much needed" in the Arab world.
Parliament in #jordan approved a law to sentence to jail persons who attempt #suicide telling us much about the #mentalhealth reforms needed in the #ArabWorld and highlighting again that #Lebanon and its National #suicidehotline continue to set a role model example in many fields pic.twitter.com/Hqvzl0OmHe— Mia Atoui (@MiaAtoui) April 27, 2022
The decision was made following a number of amendments made to Jordan’s Penal Code by the House of Representatives, in a parliamentary session chaired by parliament speaker Abdel Karim Al-Dughmi on Monday.
The punishment will include a sentence for those who attempt suicide in a public space of up to six months in jail, or a fine of 100 Jordanian dinars ($141), or both.
The law also specifies that the punishment will be more severe in cases of "mass suicide", according to Roya News.
Instead of finding out what brings someone to consider suicide.. instead of spreading awareness, and facilitating treatment, Jordan's government introduced a policy to imprison and charge people who attempt suicide.— Farah Aqqad (@farahaqqad) April 26, 2022
I am out of words. pic.twitter.com/GuA8KgDJ35
The kingdom has witnessed an increase in suicide rates over the past decade, with 2020 being the worst on record, reported Jordan News.
An economic downturn, exacerbated by the coronavirus pandemic as well as more repressive political conditions, can be seen as factors for the rising rates, a Human Rights Watch researcher has said.
Earlier this year, nine Jordanian men threatened to commit mass suicide, citing unemployment.
The men, who were recent university graduates, threatened to kill themselves if their demands for employment by the government were not met.
Suicide is considered a crime in some 20 countries including Nigeria, Bangladesh and The Bahamas, as of 2021.