Jordan plans to jail people who attempt suicide

Jordan plans to jail people who attempt suicide
Jordan's House of Representatives has passed a draft law approving six-month jail terms for anyone attempting suicide, in addition to a fine of 100 Jordanian dinars.
2 min read
28 April, 2022
Jordan's suicide rate has increased over the past decade due to worsening economic conditions and the Covid pandemic [Getty]

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.

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.

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.

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Suicide is considered a crime in some 20 countries including Nigeria, Bangladesh and The Bahamas, as of 2021.