Jordanian protesters threaten to commit 'mass suicide' over unemployment

Jordanian protesters threaten to commit 'mass suicide' over unemployment
2 min read
08 February, 2022
Nine men have been protesting for over a month, calling on the government to find them jobs. They now say they will end their lives if their demands are not met.
Mass protests against unemployment and austerity removed the Prime Minister in 2018, but unemployment continues to rise in Jordan [AFP via Getty]

Nine Jordanian men protesting against unemployment have threatened to commit suicide on Tuesday evening if their demands for jobs are not met by the government, local media reported.

For over one month, the nine demonstrators have been staging a sit-in at As-Salam square in the city of Madaba, located roughly 30 km south of the capital Amman. 

The men, who are all university graduates from the Madaba area, have issued an ultimatum to the government asking it to find them jobs.

"Waking up in the morning with no purpose and relying on my father for pocket money is painful," Ibrahim Tamimi, a mechanical engineer graduate, told the local monitor Jordan News on 19 January.

The men had been arrested on 19 January and detained for a few hours while walking from their city to the capital.

They had planned to take their sit-in to Amman's Fourth Circle - a historical gathering point for protests located next to the prime minister's office.

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Jordan's economy was hit hard by the Covid-19 pandemic, contracting by 3 percent in 2020.

Unemployment rates reached a staggering 25 percent in Jordan at the beginning of 2021, and 50 percent among youth.

The unemployment rate among women was significantly higher than among men, with about a third of the female labour force unemployed.

Anger over these sharply deteriorating economic conditions prompted a spate of rare protests in November.

The following helplines can be contacted if you or someone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts:

UK: The Samaritans

US: The Samaritans