A 13-year-old girl committed suicide in Tala Tappeh village, in Urmia, northwestern Iran, due to poverty and not having a smartphone to participate in online classes.
Parastu Jalili Azar is not the first victim of poverty who committed suicide in the past month.
According to the Human Rights News Agency, the West Azerbaijan province’s Education Organization denied that the Parastu committed suicide because she did not have access to a smartphone for online classes.
The Education Organization said that Parastu was continuing her education “via TV”.
Increase in child’s suicides
On October 10, another student, 11-year-old Mohammad Moussavi, hanged himself in southwestern Iran for not having a smartphone to participate in online classes. Moussavi’s mother initially said her son’s school did not give Mohammad a smartphone despite their promises. The incident caused national outrage and the grieving mother later retracted her remarks, seemingly from pressure by the regime, and said the school had supported and helped Mohammad.
There has been an increase in suicides among children and teenagers in Iran.
The head of the Scientific Association of Iran’s Social Work said today that the reason behind the increase was that the “community was erupting from pressure”.
Mostafa Eghlima told Iran’s Faraz website that these suicides could not be prevented until the reasons behind them, including poverty, unemployment and high prices, were eradicated.
“If these child suicides took place in another country, the governor or mayor of that city would have resigned. Because they would be the ones behind unemployment, poverty, and social calamities,” the university professor added.
He also said that suicide by hanging was the most prevalent form of suicide in Iran and implied that children learned if from the regime’s public executions.
“Despite these incidents, public executions are still showcased. That is not done in any other part of the world. Children are not born thieves and murderers and they do not commit suicide. These children have been brought up by the community and if someone is to be condemned, it should be the governor or the President,” he added.
Due to a record low of the country’s currency and economic problems in Iran, the poverty line for a family of four has increased to 10 million tomans (around $314). This has left more than 60 million Iranians in poverty while 50% of the population live in abject poverty. With the sharp increase in the price of electronics, only a limited number of students can afford smartphones or tablets for online classes.