In protest to being laid off, a mine worker self-immolated in northern Iran. The 32-year-old worker from Ganjeh village, Rudbar County is currently in critical condition in the hospital. The Human Rights News Agency said in a report today that Saber Behboudi sustained burns on 90% of his body.
According to the Head of the Rudbar Cooperatives, Labor, and Social Welfare Organization, Saber Behboudi self-immolated outside one of the sand mine companies in Rudbar.
“The managers of the company claim he was working as a day laborer in the company’s construction sector until eight months ago and that his work was terminated after the construction work ended,” Mohammad Heidari added.
An informed source said the young man set himself on fire in protest to getting laid off from the Shabab Mine Company and 4 months of unemployment.
Iran’s deteriorating economy
Iran’s deteriorating economy, high prices and poverty have led to an increase in Iran’s suicide rates even among children. In October alone, several children committed suicide from poverty, and lack of access to smartphones for online classes.
New official figures in the first week of October showed that half of Iran’s population live in absolute poverty. Many Iranians cannot afford their basic needs including food.
An Iranian website reported that Tehran residents had resorted to buying chicken, sheep, and cow bones instead of actual meat to add flavor to their soups and khoreshts, a stew dish in the Persian cuisine ate with rice.
Some store owners have put up signs that read “chicken bones for 4,000 tomans/kg”. The store owners said many of their customers only bought bones.
Sixty million Iranians live under the line of poverty due to the regime’s systematic lack of supervision over the economy, an Iranian economist said on September 20. Speaking to Tabnak, a website affiliated with the regime, Ibrahim Razaghi said “the most important threat to Iran was extreme poverty, widespread unemployment, the inability of many people to pay their rent, and that the rich were getting richer.”
“There are currently 30 million unemployed people and 60 million people live below the poverty line,” he said adding that the economic situation was “very bad.”
According to state-run media, more than 19 million Iranians live in 3,000 slums and make up the 20% of Iran’s urban population.